Our Business

Fred. Olsen Renewables is a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy assets, primarily onshore wind farms.

We operate in all parts of the energy value chain, from sourcing windfarm acreage to sale of electricity in the global market, developing renewable energy production in UK and Scandinavia. We manage all phases of a renewable development from concept development to detailed design, construction, commissioning and operations. 

The company’s first large scale wind farm, Crystal Rig, commenced operation in 2003. Since then, seven additional wind farms have been constructed in Scotland, one in Norway and one in Sweden, which brings FOR’s total installed capacity up to 680.2 MW, across a portfolio of 12 operational wind farms. 

Background

Wind farms are carefully planned at every stage of their life. In this part of our web site you can find out more about the activities that are involved in the development of every wind farm, how we construct them, what we do to make sure they stay operational and efficient and the importance of improving the local ecology around our wind farm projects.

FOR is involved in all phases in the development of a wind project— wildlife and environmental assessments, meteorological prospecting, permitting and forging agreements with communities and individual landowners.

Development 

  • Landowner Agreements
  • Wind Farm Design & Development
  • Grid Connection Agreement
  • Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
  • Metering Agreement

Management

  • Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)
  • Project Management
  • Contracts and Procurement
  • Project Control
  • Construction Supervision

Commercial and Legal

  • Project Financing
  • Legal
  • Project Insurance

Land

The starting position for progressing any development is the land. We typically enter into long-term lease agreements with property owners. We both proactively approach landowners and are happy to consider approaches from landowners on their agenda.

We typically enter into long term lease agreements with property owners. Property owners who lease their land for wind farms enjoy a steady income and the surrounding communities benefit from a larger tax base, which supports schools and local services.

Wind

Wind speed and wind consistency determine whether a site can produce sufficient power. Together with our partner in development Natural Power Consultants we are equipped with a skilled meteorology team that through the use of the latest in wind measurement and modeling technology create accurate and reliable wind resource assessments.

Environmental Assessment

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report is required to be undertaken for our developments. The purpose of an EIA is to identify the key environmental factors associated with a proposed development area. Studies evaluate any impacts there may be on animals, plants and waterways to determine if a site is suitable. As the development progresses these studies are taken into account to make sure the future development sits well within the existing environment.

Compared to the environmental impact of traditional energy sources, the environmental impact of wind power is relatively minor. Wind power emits no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources. The energy consumed to manufacture and transport the materials used to build a wind power plant is equal to the new energy produced by the plant within a few months. A typical wind project repays its carbon footprint in six months or less and then goes on to produce zero emission energy for the lifetime of the wind farm, often 25 years.

Liaising with Communities

FOR are keen to work with communities throughout the project lifetime. During the development phase this includes listening to feedback from communities during the planning phases to help shape the proposed wind farm. Should the project be consented FOR works with local groups to set up a community benefit fund. FOR’s community benefit funds are run and administered by local people enabling them to fund and deliver projects that meet local community needs.

Permitting 

FOR works with local, state, and federal government agencies to obtain the required permits for each project to make sure we comply with all requirements and regulations.

Construction

After the wind farm application is determined and gains consent, access to the grid is secured and all other cost elements are carefully considered the construction work can start. FOR  has in-house expertise with a long track record of managing project construction. Construction activities include roadworks, underground cabling, foundation construction, and turbine installation.

Maintenance of a wind turbine requires the ongoing services of a team of technicians. The technicians are trained to perform both routine maintenance, day-to-day troubleshooting and more major repairs as required.

Each of the turbines has multiple sensors. The turbines have a permanent data connection that goes to a data gathering and monitoring centre which enables the  technicians or engineers monitor the turbine twenty-four hours, seven days a week.

In the event of a performance disruption, our service team either make adjustments from the control room or, if necessary, we dispatch technicians to site with precise support instructions.

At Fred. Olsen Renewables we take our environmental responsibilities just as seriously as we do generating electricity. Landscape restoration is a vital part of our work. Many of our developments have a Habitat Management Plan which or teams of ecologists and other specialists work to deliver to ensure the land associated with the wind farm is well looked after.

The environment around the wind farm.

Our wind farm sites in Scotland are typical of the environments that are suited to wind energy production across Europe. Many of our wind farms are located on upland moorland or forestry areas and the ecologists visit site on a regular basis to take detailed measurements of the water quality in the many burns (streams) that have been restored as part of the wind farm development.

Prior to the existence of the wind farms, many of the water courses had become blocked or silted up over many years and the environmental work carried out by our team has meant many types of plant and animal life have returned to the moorlands. The work is carefully planned with The Upland Moorland Committee locally in Scotland and working with the RSPB, regular bird surveys are carried out.

In recent years the results have been encouraging and at Rothes Wind Farm for example, a breeding pair of hen harriers have returned to the moor following the work by the team. Ground nesting birds are now protected by the work the ecologists do in controlling vermin (which aren’t native to the moors), this in turn provides a stable food chain for hunting raptors such as the hen harriers.