On 15 May, the Scottish government approved the variation application submitted by Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL) in November 2017 for the floating wind project to be built some 15 kilometres south-east of Aberdeen.
The variation request includes the reduction of the total number of turbines from eight to seven, with one 2MW turbine to be installed first, followed by six larger turbines with an output of up to 8.4MW. The project will retain its capacity limit of 50MW even with these changes, according to the consent decision letter.
Furthermore, KOWL is approved to change the maximum rotor diameter from 152 to 164 metres, turbine hub heights from 100 to 105 metres measured from Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT), blade width from up to 4.5 to 5.4 metres, and to increase the maximum blade tip height from 176 to 191 metres above LAT.
Based on the turbine specifications KOWL listed in its variation application from November 2017, it looks like the project team has been considering using MHI Vestas 8MW platform with an increased power output.
The developer, a joint venture between Pilot Offshore Renewables and Atkins, is certainly seeking to use the latest wind turbine technology, given that KOWL filed another variation application on 9 May, seeking to remove the limit on the individual turbine capacity.
"The First Variation Application was submitted in November 2017 due to necessary technical changes, including an increase in the rated capacity for the largest turbines that were being considered at the time of writing the application."
"Since our application in November 2017, there have been further improvements in wind turbine technology. The 8.4MW model noted in the First Variation Application documents may no longer be in production, and turbines are now available which have a higher rated capacity than those previously assessed, without changing the physical dimensions or operational parameters."
Offshore WIND reached out to KOWL to confirm the wind turbines the developer is considering are those from MHI Vestas and to see if there were any updates regarding the second variation application. KOWL is yet to respond.
The Scottish government granted planning consent to the 50MW floating wind project, located approx. 15 kilometres off the Kincardineshire coast, in March 2017.
The Kincardine floating wind farm is a commercial demonstrator which will utilise floating semi-submersible technology to install seven large wind turbines in water depths of between 45 and 143 metres.
The project does not feature an offshore substation, as the wind turbines would be connected directly to the grid at Redmoss onshore substation via two transmission lines.
Offshore WIND Staff