The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm.
Both Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) say it will create major opportunities for supply chain companies, and could mean hundreds of long term, new jobs over the off-shore power plant’s 25 year lifetime.
Wick has been confirmed as the operations and maintenance port for the development. Other ports such as Arnish, Invergordon, Nigg and Buckie will be well placed to support installation, fabrication and marine services during the construction phase. And CS Wind UK’s investment in Machrihanish is also poised to enable the plant to manufacture large scale offshore wind towers.
It is anticipated that SSE will be confirming a number of other supply chain contracts in the coming months and it’s hoped that other Scottish companies will benefit from these.
HIE chief executive, Alex Paterson, described the news as a ‘significant milestone’.
He added: “This is excellent news for the Highlands and Islands. We are proud as a region to have many companies with the commercial and technical flexibility and the capacity to provide specialist and innovative services. The scale of opportunity is extensive and will stretch across our region, and Scotland as whole. It will put us in a prime position to attract and react to future prospects in the industry. We look forward to working with SSE, the sector as a whole, and individual companies, to ensure the best possible economic outcome for the region from this development.”
Margaret McGinlay, director of energy at Scottish Enterprise added:
“The confirmation of an investment of this scale marks a significant milestone for Scotland’s offshore wind industry. It has the potential to bring a variety of significant opportunities for economic growth for Scotland, particularly for companies in our offshore wind supply chain. We’ll be continuing to work closely with SSE and our partners on and this and other projects to secure the continued development of the sector in Scotland."