A study by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Crown Estate Scotland has pinpointed the Cromarty Firth as an ideal location for an offshore wind marshalling and assembly hub in Scotland.
The independent Port Enhancement Study demonstrates that the Cromarty Firth is the best location to capitalise on the significant opportunities stemming from Scotland’s future offshore wind market due to its existing port and laydown facilities, feasibility and capacity for expansion, and proximity to future development sites, the Port of Cromarty Firth said.
It comes after an earlier Crown Estate Scotland report published last year stated that port facilities at Invergordon and Nigg would be vital in helping to support a major expansion in the nation’s offshore wind industry – which will be pivotal for Scotland in meeting its net-zero targets by 2045.
In particular, the report highlights the Cromarty Firth’s “long-term potential” to support the construction and deployment phases of future Scottish offshore development zones, including the latest ScotWind Leasing round, the majority of which are on its doorstep. Such activity would create major supply chain and employment opportunities locally, while allowing Scotland to compete with existing UK and European facilities.
The report also emphasises the requirement for port alliances and clustering activity, in order to provide the offshore wind industry with ‘whole project’ solutions. Such partnerships have already been established through the collaborative work of Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF). Amongst its members, the OCF initiative features four infrastructure facilities: Port of Cromarty Firth, Port of Nigg, Port of Inverness, and Highland Deephaven.
”This report is great news for the Cromarty Firth and the Highlands. Scotland is on the cusp of a green energy revolution and with our leading port facilities, there is nowhere in the country better placed to take advantage of this seismic shift in energy generation,” Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said.
”This has been built on a track record of success within the offshore energy industry stretching back more than 40 years. During that period, the Port has worked hard to develop a world-class supply chain and a highly skilled workforce. Coupled with that, the Port has recently invested more than £50 million in the facilities at Invergordon, which have played an integral role in the Beatrice, Moray East and Kincardine offshore wind developments.”