A series of applications has been submitted to Scottish authorities, aimed at re-opening the port of Ardesier as an offshore wind manufacturing, installation and operations and maintenance (O&M) base.
Located east of Inverness, the port was once used for the construction of offshore oil and gas platforms. It closed in 2001, but could become an important part of Scotland’s emerging offshore wind industry, says port chief executive, Stephen Gobbi. Attracting manufacturers of foundations and other large offshore wind components is central to the port redevelopment plans, Windpower Offshore understands.
Ardesier’s advantages include 138ha of vacant land, a 1km walled deep-water quay and its close proximity to the Moray Firth offshore wind zone, being developed by EDP and Repsol. Up to 1.5GW of offshore wind capacity could be built within the Moray Firth zone by 2020.
If the redevelopment plans are approved, the port's management hopes to win investment needed to dredge the harbour later this year. This would allow the port to re-open early next year. Aerial video footage of the location has been released as part of a campaign to attract companies interested in locating there, or investing in its redevelopment.