Beatrice offshore wind farm expected to make a big splash
New research into the benefits of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) shows the social and economic impact the project is expected to deliver.
This research saw SSE, and its BOWL project partners, carry out a social return on investment (SROI) assessment for the first time thanks to analysis by NEF Consulting. The SROI research found that for every £1 invested in community projects, £3.21 will be created in value for the community. The £6m Beatrice fund, which supports the advancement of community projects in the Highland and Moray regions, could create nearly £20m of social value when fully distributed.
In total, Beatrice provides £34m for community projects. The £6m Beatrice fund is managed by SSE’s Community Investment Team. A further £28m will be provided by BOWL over the lifetime of the wind farm to the Coastal Communities Fund.
Not only that, but, according to new economic modelling, the impact of the £2.6bn investment in BOWL is expected to add £1.13bn to UK GDP and support more than 18,100 years of full-time employment in the UK. Scotland alone is expected to see a spend of £530m from the construction of the Beatrice project. This builds on the work underway to maximise local supply chain involvement through our Open4Business initiatives.
Paul Cooley, SSE Head of Generation Development, said: “As a responsible developer, we wanted to measure social and economic impacts of the significant investment in Beatrice to understand the wider implications to society and the economy. As a UK-based energy company we strongly believe that our investment in much needed energy infrastructure can benefit the wider society.
“The findings of the report show that our spending on the project will not just benefit the wider UK supply chain, but also the Scottish supply chain and the local communities near the wind farm. This research offered SSE their first chance to understand the social return on investment of the community fund, and we were thrilled to see that the fund should help create more value for the community.”
The foundations are now being put into place for one of Scotland’s largest ever private infrastructure projects. Once fully operational in 2019, Beatrice’s 84 wind turbines will be able to generate enough energy to power up to 450,000 homes.
For more information see the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited project: Socio-economic impact report