Leading ScotWind partnership to invest £10m in Education, Research and Community Benefit

ScotWind partnership announce community fund

SSE Renewables, along with partners Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) and Danish fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have announced their ScotWind partnership will establish a £10 million education, research and community benefit fund.

The SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP partnership is eagerly awaiting the results of Crown Estate Scotland’s seabed leasing process expected in January 2022.

Now, the leading development consortium has announced that should its ScotWind bids be successful, the partnership will provide a fund totalling £10m to promote advances in Scottish research, education and community wellbeing. 

The fund would be used to support research into enabling initiatives to aid consenting processes and help unlock the potential of Scotland’s offshore wind sector; to promote STEM learning and apprenticeships to help inspire and train the skilled people needed to deliver projects; and to directly support social, wellbeing and environmental projects that benefit local communities.

This fund would be in addition to the £100m fund already announced by this partnership in September to directly invest in companies in the Scottish supply chain should the partnership’s ScotWind bids be successful. This 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.”

Hisafumi Manabe, President & CEO of Marubeni Offshore Wind Development Corporation, said: “Our industry has always shown incredible resilience in overcoming any barriers to the development of technology and deployment of capacity.

“Research has played an important role and that is why part of this fund will be used to work with experts to develop research in key areas such as ornithology to not only assist project development but to also help government with consenting processes.”

Michael Hannibal, Partner at CIP, said: “It is important that we recognise that we will become part of the communities that are close to the onshore and offshore infrastructure for our projects. 

“Part of this £10m fund will be to support community initiatives and enhance their social wellbeing and sustainability. Our partnership is fully committed to Scotland’s future and hasthe credibility and capability to deliver.”

The detailed mechanics regarding deployment and management of the £10 million education, research and community benefit fund will be set out by the SSE Renewables-Marubeni-CIP consortium should the partnership be successful in the upcoming results of the Crown Estate Scotland leasing process in January 2022.

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