Energy experts have identified the Cromarty Firth as a key focal point in the push for major investment and development of next generation wind power, in a strategic assessment to the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (which was created by the Scottish Government as a follow on from the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal between the UK Government and the offshore wind industry).
This is largely down to a Highland “port cluster” which includes Nigg (widely considered as having one of the best combinations of facilities, skills and readiness), and Invergordon, both of which are deemed to be attractive as a result of their positioning close to several of the biggest blocks of sea area which are currently allocated for offshore developments over the course of the next 10 years. In addition, the former fabrication site at Ardersier has also been identified as forming a substantial part of this port cluster, subject to dredging works being carried out from the Moray Firth.
Among several key recommendations and findings in the strategic assessment, it is estimated that, with Government investment as a stimulus and a doubling of current port capacity, a port cluster such as that identified in Cromarty Firth, could provide an initial boost of around £1.5bn to the economy, with potential for this figure to triple based on potential future investment. The report also earmarks improved collaboration between Government and industry, and notes that those within the sector must become better at “selling themselves” to overseas contractors.
Find out more about the report here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-58281672