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Economic impact of the proposed Neart Na Gaoithe offshore windfarm

We were asked by Mainstream Renewable Power Limited (MRP Ltd) to evaluate the economic impact on the Scottish economy of the proposed Neart Na Gaoithe offshore windfarm project. Specifically, we will focus on the GDP and employment effects of the anticipated size and profile of expenditure for this project.

There are different methodologies that can be employed to arrive at such estimates, and this note sets out one such approach and the key results that follow. As with all such analysis, these figures are estimates and should be viewed as such. In particular, we would note that the development is not currently in place and tendering for the different components has not yet been completed. Therefore, this analysis is based on detailed information on the anticipated supply chain for this project provided to us by MRP Ltd. These data identify anticipated spend in Scotland and in the rest of the UK and were compiled for the Neart Na Gaoithe supply chain plan which was submitted to the UK Government.

Key Findings

  • It is estimated that -over the lifetime of this project- it will support the equivalent of 0.6% of the total value of Scottish Onshore GDP in 2016
  • 13,900 person years of employment will be supported by this project over its lifetime; with 8,000 person-years of employment in the CAPEX phase, and a further 5,900 during the OPEX phase.


James is part of the knowledge exchange team, which involves connecting academia to business, government, and the public. He has a Masters in Applied Economics, a degree in Mathematics, Statistics & Economics and is experienced in working on a wide range of projects for public and private sector clients.

Head of Research at the Fraser of Allander Institute