Scotland’s energy minister said “patience was wearing thin” with wind developers who take Scottish Government support, only to hand construction contracts to foreign suppliers. Paul Wheelhouse said yesterday that a proposed government summit on the offshore wind supply chain would look to generate a “greater return” for the Scottish economy. Mr Wheelhouse was speaking during Scottish Renewables Annual Conference after Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) was overlooked in favour of two foreign rivals for contracts relating to the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm. In December, it was announced that Dubai-headquartered Lamprell had won a £160 million deal to construct 45 jackets for the 100-turbine Moray East project, which is being built under a partnership between Spanish-owned EDP Renewables and France’s Engie. A separate deal for a further 55 jackets, was awarded to Belgian company Smulders. Mr Wheelhouse questioned whether the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme for supporting low-carbon electricity generation was having “unintended consequences”. CfDs guarantee energy producers a “strike price” for every megawatt per hour (MWh) they supply to the grid over a period of time. Mr Wheelhouse said: “We need to understand what’s happened from a developer perspective. “I think the CfD is a good process, broadly, but it is working with unintended consequences in terms of the pressure it puts on developers to go for the cheapest supplier and not necessarily one which generates the greatest return for the treasury.
Energy Voice 13th March 2019 read more »