Xodus to support SMEs in growth of Scottish offshore wind supply chain

Source: press release, 2 June 2021

Aberdeen Bay windfarm (photo: Richard Crighton)
Aberdeen Bay windfarm (photo: Richard Crighton)

Scottish Enterprise has appointed global energy consultancy Xodus Group to the role of Offshore Wind Cluster Builder to develop and grow the offshore wind supply chain across Scotland.

The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder will support Scotland’s existing offshore wind clusters, DeepWind and Forth & Tay Offshore, in their remit to foster collaboration, drive competitiveness and improve productivity in Scottish Offshore Wind.

The project will do this by delivering a range of services to SMEs including one-to-one support, events, workshops and market intelligence, as well as facilitating collaboration between SMEs and academia.

Xodus will also work to consolidate the offshore wind landscape for SMEs, connecting and simplifying elements of the sector to enable greater engagement by Scottish companies, helping them to capitalise on opportunities presented by offshore wind. An event will be held on Tuesday 15 June to formally launch the Cluster Builder and a new Offshore Wind Supply Chain Survey. Developed in conjunction with DeepWind, Forth and Tay Offshore, Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) and Scottish Renewables, the survey aims to build a more detailed picture of Scotland’s Supply Chain in order to showcase the breadth of capabilities across our companies.

With speakers from SOWEC, DeepWind and Forth & Tay Offshore as well as Xodus, the event will outline the Cluster Builder remit, launch the Offshore Wind Scotland Supply Chain Survey and discuss how this will benefit the wider Scottish Supply Chain.

Head of Low Carbon Transition for Scottish Enterprise, Andy McDonald, says, “The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder will be an important project to support the development and growth of the offshore wind supply chain across Scotland. SMEs will have access to services to collaborate, grow and secure business within the offshore wind industry locally, nationally and internationally leveraging Scottish capabilities to strengthen the offshore wind supply chain for a sustainable industry and net zero future economy.”

“The new project will align with the work of DeepWind and Forth & Tay Offshore to ensure Scotland benefits from the many opportunities presented by offshore wind,” McDonald adds.

David Webster of Forth & Tay Offshore says, “We are looking to build on the opportunity from the growing pipeline of Scottish, UK and global offshore wind projects and the need to grow local content in the sector. We are shaping the resource provided by Scottish Enterprise for the development of a competitive supply chain in Scotland. We aim to increase Scotland’s success in winning orders for projects inside and outside Scotland’s waters and to help support and scale up the Scottish supply chain.”

Paul O’Brien of DeepWind adds, “The Cluster Builder initiative offers our SME members a further layer of support to help them navigate the complex offshore wind supply chain landscape. By working closely with the Xodus team we can help our members to develop a compelling business case, increase their competitiveness and deliver a sustainable business model. Cluster Builder will be an important tool to help build a strong and successful offshore wind supply chain in Scotland.”

Scott Hamilton, Renewables Division Manager at Xodus says, “We are committed to this development and have established a suite of services to help companies active in relevant other industries to identify the opportunity in offshore wind and other renewable energy sectors and assist in building a strategic and coherent approach to this. The sector deal commitment of 60% local content by 2030 is an ambitious one, and it is important to prioritise those supply chain areas already available in the UK, while simultaneously targeting an expansion into areas identified as gaps.”

Xodus has worked with Scottish Enterprise on several projects to support and grow supply chain capability in Scotland. This work includes supply chain analysis for sensing and remote monitoring in marine renewable energy, Offshore Wind Expert Support for SMEs and the collation of Scottish supply chain databases in the offshore wind and green hydrogen sectors.

The “Cluster Builder” project also strengthens Xodus’ offering to the global offshore wind supply chain across the Atlantic, where the company is conducting a similar research project. The Boston team is assessing the local and regional supply chain around Massachusetts and has also recently won work to carry out a related assessment and gap analysis for Hampton Roads and the southern Virginia region.

Jeff Tingley, Xodus’ US Head of Strategy and Market Development, adds, “We’re in the rare position of providing genuine international partnership opportunities for local companies through our Scottish and US clusters and we’re seeing a steep rise in this type of work as more and more regions explore the opportunities available through offshore wind. Our renewables team provides a 360-degree view on how to develop successful energy projects and can draw upon the skills from the integrated discipline divisions across our international offices.”