Offshore wind farm support group hits half century

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The Neart na Gaoithe Coalition – a group of organisations that have joined together in support of the offshore wind farm proposed for a site 15km off the coast of Fife – has reached 50 members since being formed only ten weeks ago.

The Coalition features companies from across the supply chain, employing thousands of people in Scotland and who could potentially support this £2 billion project. Consent was granted by the Scottish Ministers for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm, and three further developments, in 2014. However, the project has been delayed since then following court action by RSPB Scotland, which is currently waiting for a decision from the Supreme Court in London on whether its latest appeal will be heard.

The Coalition is using its 50 member milestone to highlight the importance of the wind farm project to the Scottish economy and for Scottish jobs. A Fraser of Allander Institute report recently estimated that NnG would contribute 0.6% of GDP (£827m) to the Scottish economy over the project’s lifetime, creating 2,000 jobs during its three year construction phase and over 230 operations and maintenance jobs for the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm. NnG will produce 450 megawatts of clean energy – enough to power a city the size of Edinburgh, displacing 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Alan Duncan, spokesman for the NnG Coalition, said: “The voices that have come together to support the NnG wind farm are becoming difficult to ignore. The Scottish supply chain knows the importance of NnG to the Scottish economy as well as to its environment. Even at this late stage, we call on RSPB Scotland to drop this court action and to work with the Scottish supply chain and Mainstream Renewable Power, the developers of NnG, to make this already consented project a reality.”

Iain Scrimger, Business Development Manager at Burntisland-based BiFAB, said: “The NnG project is of national significance to BiFAB and cannot be underestimated as, on completion of the current Beatrice project, it would allow us to retain the skilled operational personnel within the business. Winning a part of the NnG project for the manufacture of jackets in Fife would not just bring economic impact for further investment in the regeneration of the Fife Energy Park and the immediate East Coast area but the whole of Scotland.”

Christine Bell, Eyemouth Harbour Trust, said: “NnG would have a positive impact on our local community in Eyemouth because it would bring new businesses to the town. It would provide an economic boost and a transformational change in Eyemouth – our hotels, our restaurants, retailers, taxi and transport companies, businesses such as IT and office supplies, would all benefit. We want our young people to stay and have the opportunity to develop skills and careers locally.’

Jeff Anderson, Director of specialist recruitment consultants Taylor Hopkinson Associates: “The range of roles that this project will offer is limitless – from welders, riggers and construction managers to quality managers and fabrication managers. Given the support for offshore wind in the UK, I think it’s important for Scotland and the supply chain that we have a project of this scale.”

The NnG Coalition has 52 members currently. They are:

8.2 Aarufield

Atkins Global

Bauer Renewables
Butler Land Management
BVG Associates
Cargostore Worldwide Trading
Cathie Associates
CG Global
CS Wind
Eccel (East Coast Centre for Energy Logistics)
Eden Scott
Empire Engineering
Energy & Water Associates
Eyemouth Harbour Trust
Facilitating Change
Gavin Doherty GEO Solutions
Global Energy Group
Grant Young Planning
Green Energy Projects
Harland and Wolff

James Fisher Marine Services
James Fisher Rumic
JDR Cables
Mainstream Renewable Power
Montrose Marine Services
Montrose Port
My Marketplace
Offshore Wind Consultants
OWEC Tower
Scotia Supply Chain
Seaway Heavy Lifting
Sparrows Group
SPT Offshore
ST3 Offshore
Steel River Consultants
Taylor Hopkinson Associates
Tymor Marine
Utility ROV Services
Vesper Marine Ltd