They have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take forward a shared ambition to promote sustainable growth in the offshore wind sector in the seas around Scotland.
The council said that Scapa Flow – Europe’s largest natural harbour – is ideally placed to serve as a renewables hub supporting a major expansion of wind farms off the coast of Scotland.
The planned deep-water quay would be used for the construction and assembly of wind turbines, and as a base for maintenance and the storage of components.
It would be designed for use by the large vessels involved in the construction of offshore wind farms and would have a water depth of 15 metres alongside.
Council leader James Stockan said: “The project we’re developing has huge potential as a key strategic asset underpinning Scotland’s climate change ambitions.
“As a purpose-built facility surrounded by the safe and sheltered waters of Scapa Flow, it would have a vital role to play in enabling a major expansion of offshore wind farms in Scottish waters.
“It’s encouraging that wind farm developers have expressed considerable interest in getting involved in the project – and we are delighted that Crown Estate Scotland will be working closely with us as it develops.
“I regard this as a once in a generation opportunity, a transformational project that would deliver a major boost for our local economy – creating jobs and business opportunities throughout our islands.”
The council has agreed to move ahead with the next phase of the deep-water quay initiative – a detailed appraisal of the costs involved and of potential sources of external funding for the project.
Director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland, Colin Palmer, said: “Today’s announcement is an exciting example of how we are working with local authorities around Scotland to help tap in to our fantastic natural marine resources in a sustainable way as we build towards helping Scotland get to net zero.
“Projects like this can drive investment into the blue economy and can hopefully help communities in Orkney realise the economic benefits of the major strides Scotland is taking in the development of offshore wind.”