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‘Significant Opportunity’ for Orkney as ScotWind Leasing Announcement Made

Date: 17 January 2022

Orkney Islands Council has today (Monday 17 January) welcomed announcements from Crown Estate Scotland on the ScotWind leasing process – describing the developments as a ‘significant economic opportunity’ for Orkney.

The ScotWind leasing process has seen companies and consortia ‘bid’ for the rights to develop areas of seabed around Scotland as offshore wind farms.

This is the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland. 

15 Scotwind ‘zones’ were available in this leasing round with 17 successful bids in all - with some sites seeing more than one developer submitting a successful bid.

Orkney Islands Council has been in discussions with potential developers over a number of months with a view to the successful bidders using Scapa Flow as a base for operations.

Alongside this, the Council has been also been developing plans to provide improved infrastructure to support this work – known as the Scapa Flow Deep Water Quay project.  

Sites to the west and east of Orkney were awarded including the proposed ‘West of Orkney Windfarm’ which involves a consortium of companies headed by Offshore Wind Power, MacQuaries, Green Investment Group – for which the Council already has an agreement in place to work together.

The ‘West of Orkney Windfarm’ project also includes the Flotta Hydrogen Hub  - which could see hydrogen produced in Flotta for export.

The project represents a significant economic opportunity for Orkney including the safeguarding of high-value employment in the county and likely income from harbour dues.

In addition, the Council will also be seeking to open discussions with the successful companies on direct community benefit payments for the county from the wind farms themselves.

Jim Buck, harbour master for Orkney Harbour Authority, said: “Today’s announcement marks a crucial milestone on the journey to achieving our vision of a greener, more sustainable environment for Orkney.

“Since launching our Masterplan in 2020 we have worked closely with our council colleagues, Crown Estate Scotland and industry partners to lay the foundations for what will be a long term plan to support decarbonisation and a transition away from fossil fuels. 

“Orkney Harbours is one of the most diverse and successful council-run port authorities in the UK and there are few harbours in Scotland offering deep water quayside facilities like those at Scapa Flow.

“We congratulate the successful bidders and look forward to collaborating to achieve our shared goals.”

Councillor James Stockan is the Political Leader of Orkney Islands Council. He said: “Today’s announcement could represent a significant economic opportunity for our islands and is another crucial step on our journey to position Orkney as a base for innovation and a major contributor in delivering a carbon-free future.

“Orkney offers a natural environment like no other, particularly Scapa Flow which is the second largest natural harbour in the world.

“Our Orkney Harbours Masterplan document embraces these opportunities – supporting decarbonisation and a transition away from fossil fuels. It includes a range of infrastructure enhancements across key locations around the Orkney mainland, including a new deep-water facility in Scapa Flow - which will be crucial to us realising our ambition to deliver social and economic benefit from offshore wind energy.

“Our discussions with potential developers have been very positive.  With the clarity that today’s announcement brings we now have a clear way forward to ramp up these discussions and do all we can to optimise the benefit for Orkney.”

Full details of today’s announcement are available at

Notes to editors

Orkney Islands Council as the Statutory Harbour Authority - through Orkney Harour Authority/OIC Marine Services - is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the 29 piers and harbours located throughout the Orkney Islands – for more information see and

Additional details of ScotWind
•    Seventeen projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications, and have now been offered option agreements which reserve the rights to specific areas of seabed   
•    A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending
•    The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2 (a maximum of 8,600km2 was made available through the Scottish Government’s Sectoral Marine Plan)
•    Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
•    The potential power generated will provide for the expanding electrification of the Scottish economy as we move to net zero

  • Summary:

    Orkney Islands Council has today (Monday 17 January) welcomed announcements from Crown Estate Scotland on the ScotWind leasing process – describing the developments as a ‘significant economic opportunity’ for Orkney. 

  • Category:
    • Climate Aware
    • Marine Services

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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