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Xodus and Glic team up to drive social impact analysis for offshore wind

Global energy consultancy Xodus has partnered with Scottish sustainability consultancy Glic to maximise the social benefits of future offshore wind farms.

The two companies have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), ahead of Scottish Renewables’ annual Offshore Wind Conference in Glasgow.

It marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between Xodus and Glic, aimed at conducting comprehensive social impact analyses for communities affected by renewables developments.

Under the terms of the MOU, the pair will work together to ensure feedback from impacted community stakeholders is heard, taken on board and implemented when delivering offshore wind projects.

Jamie MacDonald, Global Offshore Renewables Director at Xodus, said: “It is brilliant to be able to get this partnership with Glic over the line, and just in time for this year’s Scottish Offshore Wind Conference, where industry will come together to discuss how our exciting sector can deliver for the benefit of the whole country. We are looking forward to strengthening our social impact capability, while also sharing our offshore wind expertise with our friends at Glic.

“For all the benefits that Scotland’s offshore wind industry has already brought and will bring, local communities have not maximised the potential benefits on offer, despite projects being located on their doorstep. This MOU will ensure that social responsibility remains at the front of the mind when delivering the next generation of Scottish offshore wind farms.

“It is important to stress that maximising the social value of renewables projects isn’t simply a box ticking exercise, it’s a win-win for everybody. For local communities, it can deliver a host of advantages, such as improved infrastructure, enhanced job opportunities and benefit funds. Similarly for developers, such initiatives build and solidify relationships in the region, setting them up for success from the outset of the project.”

As part of their commitment to offer the full spectrum of technical and advisory services, Xodus and Glic have devised a specific offering, ‘Social Value Strategic Planning’, to help guide community initiatives.

Underpinning the approach is both companies’ track record of community stakeholder management, project and environmental consenting support, socio-economic impact assessments, and project delivery.

Representatives from Xodus and Glic will attend Scottish Renewables’ upcoming Offshore Wind Conference 2024, where they will highlight the benefits of the MOU and how it can support future projects.

David Smart, Glic Director, said: “After years of delivering social value assignments across multiple sectors including renewable energy and aquaculture, we are thrilled to be teaming up with Xodus and tailoring our offering for the offshore wind sector. In the coming decades hundreds of turbines will be placed in Scottish waters and we want to ensure that everyone benefits from this green energy boom.”

Formed in response to the growing significance of renewable energy projects, the collaboration between Xodus and Glic signifies a shared commitment to fostering sustainable practices and social responsibility for the offshore wind sector.

While the advent of offshore renewables projects contributes significantly to net zero goals and green energy production, the impact of such scheme on local communities requires careful consideration.

Historically, socio-economic impact assessments have often been unable to accurately record the concerns of local communities. Key challenges often arise late in the planning process, giving developers little opportunity to respond to them, placing a strain on services and eroding stakeholder trust.

But by getting boots on the ground and engaging with local communities early on, Xodus and Glic aim to pinpoint and iron out potential issues before they can arise, increasing the overall value of offshore wind projects.