finance

Hunterston PARC signs agreement for offshore wind farm infrastructure



Hunterston Port and Resource Campus (Hunterston PARC) has signed an option agreement with global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power for the onshore infrastructure to support its proposed offshore wind farm project.

The development is part of a long-term deal, which aims to bring new employment to Ayrshire.

Mainstream has secured land at the facility to build the enabling infrastructure for the offshore wind farm, including the substation and cable landing.

The latest deal comes just three months after Peel Ports signed a similar agreement with cabling company XLCC for a facility to include two factories, which could further generate 900 jobs.

Andrew Martin, Peel Ports’ Group land and property director, said: “Mainstream is a highly respected and credible developer of off-shore assets, and we welcome their long term commitment to Hunterston PARC.

“Their team buys into our vision for Hunterston and are committed to working with us to develop it further; including the potential for producing green hydrogen.

“Hunterston is one of Scotland’s largest brownfield sites and its largest deep water port – this agreement demonstrates the role it can play in meeting the challenge of a green economic recovery.”

Mainstream’s general manager of offshore Cameron Smith said: “As one of the first anchor tenants to buy into their vision, we have secured crucial acreage to build our onshore connection infrastructure and will work with Peel to develop our associated hydrogen production and other facilities.”

Mainstream has developed more than 20% of the UK’s offshore capacity which is either in construction or operation.

Meanwhile, Hunterston PARC plans to redevelop 300 acres to create an energy and marine campus, bringing together industry operators, universities and innovators to deliver technological advances in areas such as power generation and aquaculture.

Hunterston was initially identified in 1968 as a site that could be an ore-importing terminal. Construction began in April 1974 and completed 1979, costing £100m.

When built, Hunterston Ore Terminal was one of the deepest water terminals in the world and it was primarily used to supply the needs of the British Steel’s Scottish works – especially at Ravenscraig – and Longannet Power Station.

The marine yard has previously been used to build oil platforms between 1978-83, Trident dry dock between 1988-93 and Gravity base Tank between 1993-96. At peak, the terminal handled 10.3 million tonnes of coal.

Since closure in 2016, the focus has been site remediation, securing planning and repositioning.

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