THE ScotWind partnership has announced it is to establish a £10 million education, research and community benefit fund.
Made up of SSE Renewables; Japanese conglomerate, Marunbeni Corporation; and Danish fund management firm, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), the partnership ‘eagerly’ awaits the result of the Crown Estate Scotland’s seabed leasing process, which is expected to come in January 2022.
The firms said the £10 million fund will be provided, should their bid for the leasing of areas of Scotland’s seabed be successful.
It would look to support research into enabling initiatives to aid consenting processes and help unlock the potential of Scotland’s offshore wind sector, as well as promoting STEM learning and apprenticeships to help inspire and train the skilled people needed to deliver projects.
The fund would be in addition to the £100 million fund already announced by the partnership in September to directly invest in companies in the Scottish supply chain, should the partnership’s ScotWind bids be successful. The supply chain fund would support new entrants to the sector and allow those already established to upscale their facilities to increase their competitiveness.
Paul Cooley, director of capital projects for SSE Renewables, said, “This additional £10m commitment from our ScotWind partnership shows that SSE Renewables and our partners are willing to put our money where our mouth is to provide an important boost to Scotland’s education, research and community benefit from the country’s next generation of offshore wind farms. This funding programme will be able to advance the development of key skills for our industry by promoting STEM careers in schools and supporting apprenticeship programmes, support research to help Scotland’s renewable ambitions thrive, and provide much-needed funding to help improve the welfare of communities.
“We will draw on our local knowledge allied to our global experience to ensure this funding can deliver optimum value for all stakeholders. This includes building on our existing memorandum of understanding with University of Highlands and Islands to work with them to develop skills, employability and research activity that will deliver meaningful and long-lasting benefits to Scotland.”