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    Caithness set to benefit from major wind farm


    August 12, 2022 - John O'Groat Journal

     

      CAITHNESS is set to benefit from a multimillion-pound investment in a major offshore wind farm off the coast of Sutherland.

      The West of Orkney Windfarm is to develop a two-gigawatt wind farm in a joint venture with Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and Renewable Infras-tructure Development Group. Scheduled to be generating electricity by 2030, the project will be capable of powering the equivalent of more than two million homes.

      The developer has already signed an agreement with Scrabster Harbour Trust which will help the area to support offshore wind projects in the future. The company is also keen to work with the local supply chain in Caithness and the north of Scotland to maximise the opportunities for local businesses during construction and the longer-term operations of the project.

      The West of Orkney Windfarm has joined the Caithness Chamber of Commerce as a diamond premier partner – the highest level of membership – to underline its commitment to the area.

      In October last year the project partners announced a £105 million investment initiative that will be enhanced to £140 million by third parties to support the offshore wind supply chain locally, in Scotland and across the UK ahead of a Final Investment Decision in 2026.

      West of Orkney Windfarm development manager Jack Farnham said: "Our membership of the Caithness Chamber of Commerce underlines our commitment to working closely with local businesses and the communities in the north of Scotland to maximise the long-term economic and social benefits this project will bring.

      "Our ambition is to deliver up to half of the project’s content in Scotland over its lifetime. We have been engaging actively with key local supply chain partners for a number of years and already the project is working closely with contractors across the Highlands and Islands.

      "We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Scrabster Harbour Trust underscoring our commitment to support the enhancement of the port’s infrastructure and position the area to support offshore wind projects in the future."

      Trudy Morris, the chief executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: "We look forward to working closely with Jack and his team over the coming years to help maximise opportunities for the local supply chain and optimise the socio-economic benefits for the region.

      "Offshore wind developments such as the West of Orkney Windfarm will play a key role in helping Scotland and the UK reach their net zero targets and create a substantial number of jobs, drive investment in skills and infrastructure and deliver sizeable benefits to local communities.

      "It is great to see some of our members such as Scrabster Harbour already working with the West of Orkney Windfarm and one of our jobs will be to ensure other members have visibility of opportunities created."

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