Floating offshore wind developers Renantis, BlueFloat Energy and Ørsted have given their backing to a skills and innovation hub for the sector in the Scottish Highlands.
The trio have become the first developers to join the board of the PowerHouse, which was established last year by Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF), winners of the bid for a Green Freeport.
The Easter Ross facility includes an applied research centre dedicated to developing floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies.
The PowerHouse is now leading plans to establish a new national training centre in the Highlands ahead of the expected offshore renewables employment boom.
The planned national centre for renewable energies training and skills will focus on developing the skills needed to work in the floating wind and green hydrogen industries, helping to meet the needs of firms that are expected to create tens of thousands of new roles in the emerging sectors.
Richard Dibley, speaking on behalf of the Renantis, BlueFloat Energy and Ørsted consortium, said: “We believe Scotland can successfully transition its oil and gas expertise into the floating offshore wind sector. However, it is vital that as the offshore wind sector rapidly develops in Scotland and the UK, the industry has the skilled workforce it will need.
“That expertise already exists in the north of Scotland in fabrication and manufacturing facilities as well as its technological capabilities, maximising the opportunity to create a pipeline of quality jobs.
“Plans to establish a national training and skills centre in the Highlands, which will be at the heart of those developments, are a very positive further step to ensuring that Scotland becomes a global leader in floating offshore wind expertise”.
The three developers are among 40 organisations from across the supply chain backing the PowerHouse, along with a number of academic partners and other private training providers.
Speaking on behalf of Opportunity Cromarty Firth, Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive, Bob Buskie, said: “This facility will ensure that local people and those attracted to the area by the opportunities on the horizon here have the skills they and the industry need.
“Along with the PowerHouse’s commitment to research and development, we have the chance here to play a key role in helping Scotland and the UK to take a global leadership position in the offshore floating wind and green hydrogen sectors.
“We warmly welcome Renantis, BlueFloat Energy and Ørsted’s backing as the PowerHouse plans and projects move forward at pace.”