CIP Revives Floating Wind Project Offshore Scotland

Danish fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) plans to build a floating wind farm with a capacity of up to 100 MW off the coast of Dounreay, Scotland.

The demonstrator floating wind project is being brought forward by Highland Wind Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), formed with CIP acting as the majority shareholder.

Highland Wind Limited is proposing to demonstrate a floating offshore wind farm comprising between six and ten wind turbines installed approximately six kilometres off the coast of Dounreay, Caithness, at the site where the now discontinued Dounreay Trì floating wind project was initially planned to be developed.

The aim of the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) project is to test and demonstrate a technology solution for floating offshore wind in Scotland.

The project will, among other solutions, consider a semi-submersible substructure that supports two inclined wind turbines, CIP said.

PFOWF is an update to the Dounreay Trì that was consented by a subsidiary of Hexicon AB, a Swedish floating offshore wind farm developer.

Dounreay Trì was granted key consents and a site lease in 2017. A new consent application will be made for the updated project, reflecting the revised development proposal, CIP said.

The proposal for the original Dounreay Trì Project consisted of a two-turbine offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of between 8 and 12 MW, a single export cable to bring the power to shore immediately to the west of the Dounreay Nuclear Site fence line, and the associated onshore electrical infrastructure to connect the project at, or near, the existing Dounreay 132/33/11kV substation.

The updated Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm project will be in the same location and will be connected to the power distribution system at a suitable grid connection point on or near the Caithness coast, CIP said

CIP expects to reach a financial close on the 100 MW project in 2024 and have it commissioned in 2026.

Offshore surveys at the site will start this month

Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm Demonstrator

Highland Wind Limited is currently exploring the option of utilising the existing Section 36 and Deemed Planning consent for the Dounreay Trì Project obtained in 2017 to construct and operate a demonstration project in advance of the wider Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm array.

This Demonstrator would be constructed within the previous Marine License Area and would ultimately form part of the wider PFOWF array in the event it goes ahead.

The onshore infrastructure would also be located within the area previously consented for the Dounreay Trì Project, located at or near to the existing Dounreay 132/33/11kV substation.

The Demonstrator and wider PFOWF array will be consented and constructed separately. The final details of the Demonstrator have not been determined at this point; however, the design parameters for the Demonstrator will be kept within those as defined in the existing Dounreay Trì consent, CIP said.

The Demonstrator project infrastructure will be consented and constructed separately from the broader PFOWF project both in terms of offshore and onshore installations. In accordance with current planning, the Demonstrator is expected to be commissioned by mid-2023.

Thus, the export cable and the onshore grid connection for the Demonstrator is planned to be installed prior to the offshore and onshore infrastructure for the array project.

Whether the Demonstrator commences or not, the maximum number of turbines and energy generation capacity that will eventually be deployed at the PFOWF project site will ultimately be the same.

Highland Wind Limited is currently in consultation with Marine Scotland to inform the requirement to vary the existing Dounreay Trì Project consent via a Section 36C application under The Electricity Generating Stations (Applications for Variation of Consent) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 to construct and operate the proposed Demonstrator.

Photo: Hexicon/Illustration