Scotland’s First Minister, the Rt Hon. Humza Yousaf MSP officially opened the world’s first dedicated innovation centre for floating offshore wind on the 18th March.

In Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone, ORE Catapult’s £9 million National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), delivered in collaboration with ETZ Limited, has been designed to help the development of floating offshore wind technology in the UK, with funding from both the Scottish Government and Innovate UK.

Decarbonising the North Sea

Floating offshore wind presents a substantial economic opportunity, with over 19GW of potential projects in the pipeline through the ScotWind Leasing process, coupled with a new leasing round anticipated in the Celtic Sea. There is also the prospect of transferring expertise from the oil and gas sector to support the Just Transition. The Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round further establishes an avenue for floating wind to contribute to decarbonising North Sea energy production. In March 2024, the Scottish Government confirmed revised timelines for the publication of the updated Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy (SMP-OWE), incorporating the INTOG SMP, indicating that the final plan will be adopted in Spring 2025.


Credit: Marine Directorate Image Bank


Industry estimates suggest that floating offshore wind could generate over £43.8bn in UK gross value add (GVA) by 2050 and foster more than 29,000 jobs through the successful implementation of this pipeline.

FLOWIC will offer facilities for companies to develop and mitigate risks associated with technologies crucial for the future success of the sector. In his remarks during the centre’s official opening, First Minister Humza Yousaf stated the necessity of sustained investment, both public and private, to achieve net zero ambitions. He emphasized FLOWIC’s embodiment of collaborative efforts propelling the offshore wind industry forward and its role in driving economic and societal transformation towards decarbonisation.

Groundbreaking step

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, said:

“When you look at the projected global market demand for floating wind technology over the coming years, the opportunity is eye-watering; dynamic cables alone will be a more than £2bn global market over the next decade. Here in the UK we are well placed to play a leading role in that market by developing the supply chain to support the innovations that will bring this potential to life. Others are chasing the same prize though, so the time is right to make sure Scottish and UK companies are at the front of that race, and this facility is a key part of helping that happen.” 

The array of cutting edge equipment housed in FLOWIC includes: dynamic cable flex fatigue rig, anchor test rig, scale motion simulator, and virtual reality studio, geared towards advancing floating offshore wind technology and supporting the transition to renewable energy.

Read more from ORE Catapult here

Read more about INTOG leasing round here

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