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By Andrea GrochowskiSeptember 21st 2023

A partnership of Shetland businesses and renewable energy developers is coming together to drive home why the islands are strategically located at the centre of Europe's energy transition.

With decades of energy industry experience, a proven track record of delivering projects in a unique environment, and the infrastructure to support future developments, Shetland is ready to capitalise on renewable energy opportunities.

Add to that the islands' geographic location at the heart of exisiting and future energy projects and you start to understand why Shetland is strategically positioned to be a world-leading energy hub.

And that is the message a partnership of Shetland businesses and developers will take to the Floating Offshore Wind conference in Aberdeen in October 2023.

By working together, the Shetland collaboration, will showcase exactly why Shetland is the ideal hub for clean energy developments.

The annual event FOW23, hosted by RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables, promises to be the meeting place for all the current and future players in the global floating wind industry.

Organisers say the event will provide "an unrivalled opportunity to meet and network with all the key players as well as discuss the key technical challenges and solutions surrounding the industrialisation and commercialisation of floating wind."

By working together, the Shetland collaboration, will showcase exactly why Shetland is the ideal hub for clean energy developments.

At FOW23, a group of Shetland-based organisations and developers of future Shetland energy projects are collaborating to promote the energy vision, supply chain, and infrastructure in the islands. This approach enables efficient use of resources while promoting the Shetland Islands as a place to invest for future offshore wind developments.

A ‘Shetland – Islands of Opportunity’ stand will have representation from each of these organisations to help place Shetland at the centre of the energy transition.

At the heart of clean energy

While Shetland is the northern most region in Scotland, it is far from being at the edge. It sits right in the heart of Scotland and Europe’s energy industry. With abundant natural resources, an energy and marine industry supply chain developed over decades and a skilled workforce, Shetland is the ideal location for clean energy generation that can make a major contribution towards the country’s net zero ambitions.

The heritage of oil and gas in the islands also presents potential opportunities for the transition to clean energy through repurposing and reuse of existing infrastructure. Well-established ports such as those at Lerwick and Sullom Voe could be used to support offshore wind developments and other clean energy industries.

The journey to offshore wind in Shetland has already begun. Option Agreements have been signed for 2.8GW by 3 developers on the NE1 site to the East of Shetland through ScotWind, with interest in future sites and further ambition from the Scottish and UK Governments to encourage the potential for additional offshore wind.

With the energy industry shifting rapidly to new technologies and alternative sources of energy, Shetland can lead the way and make a huge contribution to the country’s energy transition. At FOW23, the collaboration will showcase Shetland’s decades of experience of supporting the energy sector and how the islands are strategically placed to be at the forefront of the energy transition.

Here, we provide more information about the organisations working together to build a clean energy future in Shetland.

Arven Offshore Wind Farm

Arven is a 2.3 GW floating offshore wind development located to the east of the Shetland Islands. Through a 50-50 partnership between Ocean Winds and Mainstream Renewable Power, the two sites were awarded as part of the ScotWind leasing round in 2022. Arven’s output has the potential to provide two million households with green power, while saving three million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

As one of the UK’s largest sites of its kind, Arven is a flagship project for floating wind. It offers a real opportunity to deploy floating technology on an industrial scale – generating jobs as well as wider economic and social benefits for Shetland, Scotland and the wider UK.


EnQuest is an independent energy company. It focuses on mature late-life assets, responsibly optimising production to provide energy security. Where it can, EnQuest repurposes its infrastructure to deliver renewable energy and decarbonisation projects before executing world-class decommissioning.

EnQuest is developing cost-effective and efficient plans to repurpose the Sullom Voe Terminal in Shetland and connected offshore infrastructure to fulfil its ambition of creating a new energy and decarbonisation hub in Shetland. The group continues to mature a number of global scale decarbonisation opportunities, including carbon storage, electrification and green hydrogen.

The terminal offers several unique competitive advantages, including a 1,000-acre industrial site with access to existing oil and gas pipeline infrastructure, deep water port and jetties, the highest wind capacity factor across Europe, and a highly skilled workforce and local supply chain.

ESB Asset Management

ESB has been Ireland's foremost energy company since it was established in 1927, driven by an unwavering commitment to power society forward and deliver a net-zero future for our customers and the communities it serves.

As part of this net-zero commitment, they are delighted to be developing a 500 MW floating wind farm located approximately 40 km off the east coast of Shetland. The lease option for this site was awarded to ESB in 2022 by Crown Estate Scotland through the ScotWind process and is currently in early stage development.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an ambitious organisation with a unique remit from the Scottish Government that integrates economic and community development to support the development of the Highlands and Islands region from Shetland to Argyll, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray.

HIE is committed to supporting the development and growth of the significant renewable energy opportunities across the region.

Lerwick Port Authority

Ongoing developments across six decades at Lerwick Harbour have created a leading energy centre, internationally-recognised, with state-of-the-art deep-water facilities, an extensive supply chain and a wealth of experience. The port authority and the harbour are adaptable and expandable to meet the changes and challenges of tomorrow’s world.

Lerwick Port Authority recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with offshore wind developer ESB. To learn more, click here.

NORN Engineering Alliance

Norn is an alliance of four Shetland-based businesses (Lerwick Engineering and Fabrication, Malakoff, Ocean Kinetics and Voar) who are collaborating around a shared vision for large-scale engineering project delivery in Shetland.

The primary focus of the alliance is the delivery of large-scale offshore wind component assembly in Shetland.

Shetland Islands Council

Working in the context of the Council’s Climate Change policies and Net Zero Route Map, the Shetland Island Council Future Energy service’s purpose is to investigate and plan energy transition in Shetland. The team works to understand the options available for the transition and how these technologies could fit on the islands.

This conference will enable the team to learn more about floating offshore wind technologies and policies to effectively include within the Shetland Energy Strategy. The team’s ambition is to promote the clean energy vision for Shetland, while also highlighting Shetland as an optimum location for offshore wind developments. Offshore wind could to enable production of future clean fuels and help establish energy security for the islands.

Discover more about Shetland's strong entrepreneurial culture and how the islands are keen to work with investors to develop opportunities for economic growth.