Inch Cape Appoints Siemens Energy and lemants Consortium to Deliver Onshore and Offshore Substations

Inch Cape Offshore Limited, the 50/50 joint venture between ESB and Red Rock Power Limited, has appointed Siemens Energy and lemants, subsidiary of Smulders, for the supply and build of its onshore and offshore substation package.

Siemens Energy will design and build the onshore substation, which will be sited at the former power station site at Cockenzie, East Lothian.  Early onsite works are expected to commence early 2023  following engagement with the local supply chain.

Siemens Energy and lemants will supply the wind farm’s offshore substation platform, using Siemens Energy’s proven Offshore Transformer Module (OTM®) technology. Fit-out and assembly of the OTM and its jacket foundation will take place at the Smulders yard in Wallsend, Newcastle.

Commenting on the plans, Adam Ezzamel, Inch Cape’s Project Director said:

“The substation package is a critical element of the project and we’re looking forward to working with Siemens Energy and lemants following their selection.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the project ahead of the CfD results next week.”

Mark Pilling, Vice President HV Grids at Siemens Energy, said:

“The award of this contract is another step towards the UK achieving its target of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

“I’m incredibly proud of Siemens Energy and our partner Iemants.  It is important that we support our customers by building innovative infrastructure that enables clean energy to be delivered to our homes and businesses across the country.

“Siemens Energy has a strong record of delivering offshore wind farm projects in Scotland and we will be actively working with Iemants and Inch Cape Offshore Limited to engage with the local supply chain on potential contract opportunities.”

John Muir Way – Temporary diversion – February 28 to March 4

Walkers on the John Muir Way should look out for a temporary diversion around the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station for five days, from Monday February 28 to Friday 4th March.

The diversion will occur towards the end of a three-week programme of site investigation at the Cockenzie site which starts Monday [14 Feb].  This work is being carried out by Inch Cape Offshore Limited, which is developing an offshore wind farm off the Angus coast, to test ground conditions for their planned electricity substation.

The work will involve drilling boreholes over the site, as well as digging some trial trenches on a small section of the John Muir Way next to the seawall where export cables from the wind farm will eventually be installed.

“The diversion will be signposted a week in advance and will apply to the section which runs from around Cockenzie Harbour along the seawall towards the Hummocks,” explains Nikki Keddie, Stakeholder Manager at Inch Cape.

“We hope this will not prove too much of disruption to walkers and we will reinstate the original route following the completion of works on March 4,” Nikki concludes.

The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, currently in late-stage development, will see up to 72 turbines located 15 km off the Angus Coast and connect to the National Grid at Cockenzie. Once complete, it will be one of Scotland’s largest single sources of renewable energy and power up to one million homes with clean electricity.

Please see below for a map of the proposed diversion.

Inch Cape selects Montrose Port as offshore wind operations and maintenance base

Inch Cape Offshore Limited has selected Montrose Port as the future operations and maintenance base for its offshore wind farm – which will see up to 72 turbines located 15 km off the Angus coast.

The wind farm, owned by Red Rock Power and ESB, will create an initial £5.2 million investment and more than 50 long-term skilled jobs during its lifetime.

The decision was marked by a visit to Montrose Port by local MSP Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands at The Scottish Government, where she was able to meet senior figures from Inch Cape and Montrose Port to discuss their plans.

The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm 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.

If successful, this will trigger the18-month £multi-million investment programme in the Angus port with more than 50 long term skilled operations and maintenance jobs to follow.

Initial work on the infrastructure upgrade will begin in 2023 with the construction of offices and warehouse at the port’s South Quay.

A dedicated pontoon for crew transfer vessels travelling to and from the Inch Cape site will also be constructed along with the installation of dock side cranes and a communications mast, with the latest technologies in vessel fuelling being considered as an additional investment.

Works are expected to be complete and the base operational by early 2025 to coincide with the commissioning of the first turbines at the offshore wind farm. Once fully operational, the Montrose base will support up to 56 direct, full-time equivalent (FTE), long-term jobs including turbine technicians, asset managers and office staff.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“This award highlights the direct long-term economic benefits which are flowing into local communities across Scotland as a result of our fast-growing offshore wind industry. The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, which will provide sustainable career-long jobs for people in Angus, is a great example of this.

“Montrose Port has long played an important role in supporting Scotland’s offshore energy sector and the investment announced by Inch Cape will help it become a major facility supporting our just transition towards a Net Zero economy.”

Adam Ezzamel, Project Director of the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm said:

“This new infrastructure will make Montrose Port a key element in the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, which will become one of Scotland’s largest single sources of renewable power, operational for at least 30 years. We plan to utilise the very latest technology to reduce carbon emissions from vessels to operational base designs, operating and maintaining some of the biggest wind turbines in the world deployed in water depths of up to 57 metres.

“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, supporting local communities and a transition to a greener economy. The UK is already a world leader in offshore wind and this project will see Inch Cape increase this lead – delivering long-term skilled jobs and enough electricity to power more than a million homes.”

Capt. Tom Hutchison, CEO and Harbourmaster at Montrose Port said:

“We are delighted to welcome Inch Cape to Montrose as part of our growing offshore wind portfolio. We aim to become the go-to port for the industry and believe that with our geographical position, deep water berths, and sheltered quays we are ideally placed to do so.

“As a Trust Port we are driven to develop our offering to benefit our community of stakeholders both now and for future generations to come. We have already started to see the benefits offshore wind can bring to our regional economy and we are proud to be championing Montrose and the wider Angus region as a bastion for green energy.”

Adam Ezzamel, Project Director, Mairi Gougeon MSP, Capt. Tom Hutchison, Harbourmaster

Inch Cape Offshore Limited – operational update

In the next few days, weather permitting, East Lothian residents may see the arrival of a jack-up vessel, operated by contractors Fugro, which will begin a programme of near-shore survey work not far from the coast at Cockenzie on behalf of Inch Cape Offshore Limited.

The information gathered will be used to inform detailed design work and ultimately the construction process.  The wind farm will be Scotland’s largest single source of renewable power when built, with up to 72 turbines generating the equivalent of the annual demand of more than 1 million homes.

Image: Fugro

Inch Cape wind farm applies to extend planning consent

Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm has applied to East Lothian Council to extend the deadline for the submission of detailed proposals on the design of their onshore substation at Cockenzie, which has been delayed due to Covid-19.

The application will allow the company more time to develop the final designs for the substation, in order to meet conditions included in the planning permission in principle granted in 2019.

In August, Inch Cape ran a number of online consultation events to seek local views on the planning extension, including live interactive chat sessions and a dedicated consultation webpage.

You can find all of the application documents in the Library on this website.

Scottish businesses invited to Inch Cape offshore wind event

Scottish businesses, particularly in East Lothian, Fife and Tayside are being invited to an online event where they can find out more about the opportunities offered by the Inch Cape offshore wind farm – which will see up to 72 turbines located 15 km off the Angus coast and connect to the National Grid at Cockenzie.

The September 16 event, run by Inch Cape, Xodus Group and Scottish Enterprise in association with the Forth & Tay Offshore Cluster, is a chance for local businesses to understand how they can engage with what will become a £multi-million project in the middle years of this decade.

Commenting on the event, Adam Ezzamel, Project Director at Inch Cape, says: “Offshore wind presents a significant opportunity for businesses of all sizes in Scotland, but it is hard for many medium and smaller enterprises to understand how to engage and tender for work.

“In common with all major infrastructure projects, a high proportion of contracts will be awarded to large ‘tier one’ suppliers. However, each of these suppliers will in turn be reliant on multiple specialist subcontractors, and this is where local businesses can play to their strengths.

“For these businesses, this event will explain Scotland’s ‘Cluster Builder’ initiative, led by offshore wind supply chain experts Xodus, which works with Scotland’s two offshore wind clusters – Forth & Tay Offshore and DeepWind – to support the Scottish supply chain to target opportunities in offshore wind.

“At the same time, Inch Cape is keen to contract directly with specialist suppliers of all sizes if they can introduce new technologies and innovative ways of working with a focus on lowering the cost of energy on the project and reducing construction time, cost and carbon footprint whilst prioritising health and safety,” Ezzamel concludes.

Shona Clive, Project Lead, Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster said:

“Scottish Engineering, as the newly appointed Cluster Manager for the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster, is delighted to be supporting the Inch Cape procurement event. The Inch Cape project is right in the heart of the Forth and Tay geographic area, home to world leading offshore engineering companies which are well positioned to support this major multi-million pound project.

“This event, followed by a series of other more discipline-specific events, will help to inform local SMEs and those further afield about the huge scope of opportunities arising from the construction and long-term operation of the Inch Cape Wind Farm.”

Hannah Collings, Project Manager for Cluster Builder, Lead Renewables Consultant at Xodus, said:

“The Cluster Builder is excited to collaborate with Inch Cape to provide a timeline for Scottish SMEs on when and how to get involved with the next generation of offshore wind projects. The Cluster Builder’s role is to signpost SMEs to relevant initiatives, provide market intelligence and help prepare for tendering opportunities.  For this event we will be working alongside the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster to support SMEs to get the most of out of the future tier one tendering sessions.”

The event will take place from 10-11am on Thursday 16th September and a link to register can be found at www.inchcapewind.com/supply-chain

The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder project is part-funded by the 2014–2020 European Structural and Investment Fund.

Local views sought on Inch Cape onshore plans

Local views are being sought on extending the deadline for the design of Inch Cape’s onshore substation which has been delayed due to Covid-19.

The company plans to apply for more time to come up with detailed designs for the Cockenzie substation, in order to meet conditions included in the planning permission in principle granted by East Lothian Council over two years ago.

A dedicated consultation webpage will be live on the project website www.inchcapewind.com from 9th – 31st August 2021 and will include a link to a feedback form where comments and questions, as well as requests for further information can be submitted directly to the project team.

In addition, live interactive chat sessions will also take place between 14:00 – 16:00 hrs and 18:00 – 20:00 hrs on both Thursday 12th August and Thursday 19th August 2021.

A chat icon will appear on the consultation webpage during those times, enabling members of the public to post questions.

Alternatively anyone can email info@inchapewind.com with any queries.

Nikki Keddie, Stakeholder Manager at Inch Cape Offshore Limited, said:

“The project has planning permission in principle for the onshore substation and related works which was granted in 2019. However this permission expires in 2022 and we now intend to apply for more time to finalise the design of the substation and to submit the information required in the conditions attached to the consent.

“Our consultation events are an opportunity for local people to find out more about this process and to offer their views. All are welcome to attend and participate.”

If you do have questions or comments on the proposal, Inch Cape request that these be submitted either live during the chat sessions, via the feedback form or directly by email by no later than 5pm on 31st August 2021.

The formal Pre-Application Consultation advert can be found here.

Capacity cap removed for Inch Cape offshore wind project

Scottish Ministers have agreed to vary the section 36 consent granted to Inch Cape Offshore Ltd – removing the 1000MW maximum generating capacity of their 72-turbine offshore wind project located off the Angus coastline.

The variation of consent does not increase the number of turbines and will not affect any of the other permissions or consents currently in place.

Commenting on the variation, Adam Ezzamel, Project Director, Inch Cape Offshore Wind Ltd, said:

“This is an important part of getting the project into shape as we look to compete in the auction for government-backed contracts for renewable energy later this year. Whilst this doesn’t change the number of turbines we can deploy, or maximum tip heights, it will allow us to use the most powerful wind turbines on the market, meaning we can produce more power at an even lower cost for consumers from the same overall layout.

“The auction is going to be incredibly competitive and likely to see a further reduction in the cost of offshore wind, so we need to optimise every single aspect of the project if we are to succeed.”

The decision notice can be found in the Library.

Dolphin Spotters Wanted!

Do you like nothing better than gazing out to sea, to see what you can see?  If so, you may be able to help with a fascinating project being undertaken up and down the North Sea coastline!

Citizenfins is looking for your photographs of bottlenose dolphins!  For years these amazing marine mammals have been viewed off the east coast of Scotland, particularly in places like the Moray Firth and the Firth of Forth, but recently this population has expanded south into English waters!

Inch Cape Offshore Ltd is delighted to be helping fund the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) with this work. To expand on their dedicated survey programme SMRU need your help to monitor the bottlenose dolphins! They’re looking for your photos, taken off South East Scotland and along the North East coast of England, of the dolphin’s dorsal fins to help understand the extent of the range expansion. Further information is available in this leaflet and to learn more about the long-established photo ID project monitoring the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphin population visit their website https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/citizenfins