WINDFARM developers have said they plan to open a £5 million operations and maintenance centre at Montrose Port if they win the subsidy support they are seeking.
The centre will provide support for the Inch Cape windfarm which Chinese-owned Red Rock Power and Irish energy firm ESB plan to develop around 10 miles off the Angus coast.
The companies expect the centre to support up to 56 long-term jobs, on a full-time equivalent basis, including turbine technicians, asset managers and office staff.
The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm venture they formed has applied to the UK Government for a long-term energy contract in its latest Contracts for Difference allocation round, with results expected this summer.
They said a successful CFD application would trigger an 18-month investment programme at the Angus port. The new base is expected to be operational by early 2025 to coincide with the commissioning of the first turbines offshore.
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Project director Adam Ezzamel said the planned infrastructure would make Montrose Port a key element in the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, which is expected to be able to generate enough power for a million homes and to be operational for at least 30 years. It will feature 72 turbines.
Mr Ezzamell added: “If we succeed in the current Contracts for Difference round, Inch Cape will deliver millions of pounds of new investment, not just in Montrose but, with other key suppliers and facilities in Scotland and beyond.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said the planned investment “highlights the direct long-term economic benefits which are flowing into local communities across Scotland” as a result of the rapid growth of the country’s offshore wind industry.
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Last month Energy Secretary Michael Matheson told MSPs: “I accept that we have not achieved the level and scale of inward investment and supply chain development in the renewable sector that we would have wanted to.”