Local people interested in the proposed West of Orkney Windfarm can find out more by attending a virtual public exhibition commencing on March 21.
In January, a consortium comprising Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, TotalEnergies, and Scottish offshore wind developer RIDG successfully secured rights in the Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing round to develop a 2 GW offshore windfarm around 30km off the west coast of Orkney and around 25km from the north Caithness coast.
They are now commencing with the first in what will become a series of virtual consultation events where local communities and stakeholders can find out more about the project and ask questions.
“We are really keen to hear local views on our proposals,” says Stephen Kerr, Project Director of the West of Orkney Windfarm.
“The virtual exhibition will open on March 21 and will include two live question and answer sessions on March 29 – where people can hear directly from project staff and ask any questions they may have.
“Clearly these events have been planned with COVID-19 restrictions in mind, and in the months and years ahead we will have numerous opportunities to meet people face to face and discuss our plans.
“But in the meantime, I would encourage everyone with an interest to drop in to the virtual exhibition and have a look around, where they will find all of the information they would customarily find at a consultation event,” Kerr says.
The consortium has already undertaken extensive surveys and studies, especially in relation to the environment, to ensure that the project fully meets its sustainable development objectives, and last week they submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report to Marine Scotland, Orkney Islands Council and The Highland Council detailing all of the studies and surveys they will undertake in the years ahead.
As part of the proposal, they have designed a supply chain strategy specifically to bring together a unique combination of stakeholders to maximise the opportunities for the region.
The partners have already committed to a £140m initiative during the initial phase of the project to develop the supply chain, drive skills development and create opportunities for businesses and organisations in Caithness and Orkney, across Scotland and the rest of the UK.
The consortium has also finalised a grid connection agreement with National Grid, with a connection point in Caithness, and once built, the offshore windfarm could also deliver renewable power to the Flotta Hydrogen Hub, a proposed large-scale green hydrogen production facility on Orkney.
The live Q&A sessions will be open from 12 noon-2pm and 6pm-8pm, Tuesday 29th March 2022.
Further details of the proposal, the consultation event and the EIA Scoping Report can be found at www.westoforkney.com