Offshore Wind

The prospect of major offshore wind developments around Scotland’s coasts is set to create yet more opportunities for Orkney.

In January 2022, Crown Estate Scotland announced a number of successful bids for ScotWind Leasing, a major investment for the Scottish economy in the development of commercial offshore windfarms. With sites located all around the north coast of Scotland, including the West of Orkney Windfarm project, Orkney is well placed to establish a thriving support industry.

In Scapa Flow, we have a vast and sheltered natural harbour that we’ve carefully managed for the benefit of our community for decades, mixing successful oil, gas and renewables activity with fishing, aquaculture, and marine tourism. The community has embraced all the opportunities that have come along, developing the skills to play a key role at all stages and investing in infrastructure to support industry requirements.

With our world-renowned reputation for leading innovation in energy and renewables, we can meet the needs of changing markets and position Orkney as a world leading maritime hub, open to new business and opportunity.

Harbour investment

Orkney’s harbours infrastructure is already world class, but further investment in local facilities is vital if the islands are to continue to capitalise on new opportunities in offshore wind and across the marine energy sector.

Within the Orkney Harbours Masterplan, developed by Orkney Islands Council, are two exciting new projects which will be fundamental to developing the industry:

  • Scapa Deep Water Quay: new multi-user deep water pier and quayside facility with laydown area
  • Hatston Pier: new pier and quayside infrastructure, ship lift, fuel facility and land for harbour operations

The creation of new harbour facilities which can service the emerging offshore wind industry will add another chapter to the Orkney energy story, strengthening our community’s economic foundations and enabling future generations to play their role in protecting our planet.

Orkney's supply chain

Not only are the islands ideally placed, close to proposed offshore wind development areas, but we also have the specialist energy sector and marine operations expertise needed by this developing industry on hand in our community. That’s an attractive option for offshore wind developers looking to minimise risk and ease the challenges of operating in the most demanding of marine environments.

The need for decarbonisation of shipping and ports, as well as the carbon-free future of our industries and community underpin the Orkney Harbours Masterplan.

Protecting the Orkney environment

The need to protect our local environment and the creation of long-term economic stability for Orkney through sustainable and carefully managed development of our marine facilities are fundamental elements of the plan.

A large infrastructure development such as the Scapa Flow Deep Water Quay will undeniably have an impact on the environment. However, Orkney Islands Council is committed to mitigating impacts and offsetting these, informed by a series of surveys and environmental studies.

The interests of Orkney’s environment and community must be at the heart of this new chapter in Orkney’s energy story and community input will be welcomed at every stage.