Renewable energy is beginning to make its mark in the North East, and is a priority sector for the region. There is huge capacity for the generation of renewable energy in the North East and diversification into alternative energy technologies is underway, to complement work already being undertaken in hard to reach oil and gas reserves, hydrogen fuel cell supply chain opportunities, renewable energy and carbon capture.
H2 Aberdeen is an initiative working to bring about a hydrogen economy in the Aberdeen City Region. It will help to reinforce the area's position as an energy city, now and in the future. Hydrogen, as an energy storage medium, offers an opportunity to maximise the capacity of renewable energy. With the transferable oil and gas expertise in the North East of Scotland, as well as a capacity for renewable energy generation, there is an opportunity to further enhance our economic competitiveness by being at the forefront of a hydrogen economy.
Hywind Pilot Park
The region has already made headway in making a name for itself in this increasingly important sector. In August 2016 the final turbine in the world’s first floating wind farm was put in place off the coast of Peterhead. Statoil’s £200million Hywind Pilot Park is made up of six, 5MW wind turbines on floating structures at Buchan Deep, 25 km offshore Peterhead.
Launched in October 2017, Hywind generates enough energy to power 20,000 homes.
Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, located in Aberdeen Bay, is Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility, scheduled to generate first power in summer 2018 and operating for 20 years. The £300million project will comprise eleven turbines and have a capacity of 92.4 MW. In addition to generating electricity, it will also be a centre for testing and developing new technologies for offshore wind power.
NorthConnect will provide an electricity transmission link between Scotland and Norway through a 1.4 gigawatt transmission cable. Electricity can be transferred in either direction across the North Sea.
The events complex aberdeen
The new £333million Events Complex Aberdeen (TECA) will become home to the largest fuel cell installation in the UK and on a par with the largest in Europe, which will see the creation of a dedicated on-site Energy Centre to provide power, heat, and cooling to the new world-class conference and event arena. Providing a total electrical output of 1.4MW, the TECA Energy Centre will also reinforce Aberdeen’s status as a Global Energy Hub.
The £2.6billion Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project was given the green light for construction by owners SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Red Rock Power Limited in 2016. The project will be one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure.
The 588MW, 84 turbine, wind farm will be situated in the Outer Moray Firth and is expected to power approximately 450,000 homes (around three times the number of homes in the Moray and Highland regions). Construction at the new £10million operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will commence this year. Offshore construction will begin in 2017 and the wind farm is expected to become fully operational in 2019.
Beatrice is expected to bring a range of socio-economic benefits to the local, regional, Scottish and UK economies during both the construction and operational phases. Expected opportunities include job creation, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.