It has been an exciting and inspiring week in Scottish offshore wind. We offer our hearty congratulations to our clients and others that have been successful in securing sites through the ScotWind process.

If you’ve just won your option agreement in the ScotWind leasing round you will now be firmly focussed on what comes next.

As with any successful team, no doubt the euphoria of success is mixed with trepidation of the work required to ensure “winner’s curse” is avoided.

You don’t get to win without a solid and robust project plan that impresses the Crown Estate Scotland evaluation team. Even the most robust business case for a winning bid requires hard work to transform it into a real-world action plan.

The winners will have demonstrated that they have the experience and capability to build their wind farms. A significant challenge, however, will be delivering on commitments in their Supply Chain Development Statements (SCDS). There will be huge expectation on the part of the Scottish Government and industry that its supply chain will finally achieve its potential. Bidders may have been tempted to promise a little too much, perhaps nervous that there was some political oversight of the ScotWind process.

Now is the time to further refine and solidify supply chain strategies. We complement supply chain and procurements teams, supporting strategic decision making as well as acting as an additional resource to ensure suppliers have the capacity and capabilities to deliver. Our extensive industry network of manufacturers, services providers and ports enable us to identify opportunities and bottlenecks that can be easily overlooked. Importantly, our robust quantitative analyses of economic benefit can provide an evidence base to share with stakeholders. An early start provides a consistent data set stretching form EIA through to supply chain plans and beyond.

The option agreements are conditional on executing the SCDS provided. Supplier reviews and stakeholder engagement are needed to achieve local content and economic commitments. Having an independent third party provides the perspective and extra resource in-house teams need. It can also deliver expertise and knowledge to reassure external stakeholders.

Beyond SCDSs, the winners have many challenges to overcome. In-house teams, no matter how expert, can easily slip into confirmation bias and ‘group think’. It is always beneficial to have an independent view on internal work. Independent views increase the robustness of cost projections and thereby reduce risk. Our constructive challenges to inhouse teams invariably lead to the gaining of insight and increased confidence in their business modelling. Many clients also find our ability to provide cost benchmarking indispensable for PPA discussions, whether they be CFD or corporate negotiations. These negotiations require more than robust cost estimates. Pricing and bid strategies need to reflect the best possible competitor analysis and the best tactics as well as a robust view of costs.

The whole BVGA team, including our highly experienced ScotWind team based in our Glasgow office, are ready to help your ScotWind project sustain its winning run. As team we are fuelled by our passion for Scottish offshore wind and have been heavily involved in the ScotWind process so far for both private clients and enabling organisations. Get in touch now!

Neil Douglas