Question ref. S6W-07937
Asked by: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 8 April 2022
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-07409 by Michael Matheson on 31 March 2022, whether it will provide the information requested, regarding when it expects projects from the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round to start generating electricity, and what generating capacity, in GW, it anticipates in (a) the first year of operation and (b) each of the following years; for what reason it did not provide this information in its previous response, and what its position is on whether sufficiently detailed planning has been carried out regarding when Scotwind projects are expected to start generating electricity, and what the anticipated generating capacity will be in the first, and each of the following, years.
Current status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 29 April 2022
Over the next few years each project will go through project development and consenting processes, respond to geographical and technological requirements, and find a route to market. There are several variables to be considered across these processes, including aspects such as grid connection and the impact of offshore wind developments on various environmental receptors.
To add to my response of 31 March 2022, it is not possible at this stage to predict how long each of the 17 ScotWind projects awarded lease options will take to pass through the project development and consenting process, achieve connections to the onshore grid network and subsequently to undergo construction. For each project this is a complex and multi-faceted process involving a number of variables, including the iterative review of offshore wind planning assumptions, impacts arising from environmental assessments, consultative processes, investment decisions with regard to supporting supply chain activity, success in securing power supply agreements though the Contracts for Difference regime, and potential challenges to be addressed in design and construction with regard to physical conditions and the application of innovative floating wind technologies being pioneered at GW scale in a number of projects. These variables are dynamic and are capable of affecting the size and nature of projects as well as the speed at which they will progress. Their impact cannot be predicted with accuracy at this stage.
Forward planning with regard to potential generating capacity, which may be expected from ScotWind and other offshore renewables developments, informs our thinking and is continually reviewed. This type of forward planning will next be reflected in the Government’s Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan due to be published for consultation this autumn.