On completion, Ossian will be one of the largest floating offshore wind farms in the world, producing up to 3.6GW of renewable energy – enough to power up to 6m homes annually.

Occupying 858km2 of seabed 84km off the Angus coast, Ossian is one of the largest lease areas to be offered by Crown Estate Scotland to any bidder in the ScotWind leasing round.

Its name, pronounced ‘os-si- un’, is taken from the name of the narrator of a series of epic poems by 18th-century Scottish poet James Macpherson.

Ossian offshore consents manager Fraser Malcolm told Fishing News: “Ossian represents a new Scottish era in power generation. Its scale and floating technology make it a game-changer in the UK renewable energy sector, and a critical driving force behind our journey to net zero.

“It will offset up to 7.5m tonnes of carbon emissions each year, and will provide a significant proportion of the renewable energy capacity we need to meet Scottish and UK government ambitions.”

The project is a joint venture between SSE Renewables Ltd, Japanese trading and investment business Marubeni Corporation and fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

Fraser Malcolm said: “Ossian will utilise new technology which offers Scotland and the whole of the UK a golden opportunity to be a global leader in the sector.

“As a floating offshore wind farm, it will allow us to harness the green, clean-energy wind resource to a greater extent than ever before, free from depth constraints. “It is anticipated it will be in the water for over 30 years, offering a long-term environmental solution as well as benefits to the community and the supply chain.”

In 2023, Ossian completed a programme of surveys to better understand the environmental conditions of the site. These have included geophysical and geotechnical investigations, benthic surveys, and two years of digital aerial surveys for seabirds and marine mammals.

Vessel traffic surveys have also been completed to understand the magnitude and type of shipping operating in and around the planned Ossian array.

Fraser Malcolm added: “As part of our project development, we are committed to undertaking extensive and ongoing engagement with all stakeholders.

“We have been engaging with fishery groups since November 2023 to understand any key concerns and try to promote and facilitate co-existence during project operation.

“Over the coming months, Ossian will continue to engage with key fishery stakeholders to ensure their input is considered, and to help inform our ongoing Environmental Impact Assessment work.

“We regard this as an essential part of our project development strategy, and would welcome any feedback from fishery stakeholders.” Ossian has also been engaging at an industry level with other ScotWind developers, and through Scottish Renewables to engage with fisheries organisations and identify any strategic workstreams that could provide opportunities to work together with fishermen.

Ossian, in collaboration with other regional ScotWind developers, will be looking to establish and progress a regional Commercial Fisheries Working Group in 2024 with key stakeholder representation to facilitate the dissemination of information between the sectors.

Consultation timetable

A virtual public consultation is set to launch on 22 January and will run for four weeks.

A dedicated consultation platform can be reached via the Ossian website.

Over the course of the month there will be four live question and answer sessions that will cover Project Introduction, Environmental Assessments, Supply Chain and Human Environment. Interested parties will also be able to leave feedback via online forms.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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