Highland Wind Limited is pressing ahead with plans to build the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF), a 100 MW floating wind project offshore Scotland.
Highland Wind is majority-owned by Danish fund management company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), through one of its Copenhagen Infrastructure (CI) funds.
Once completed, the wind farm, located 6.5 kilometres off the coast of Dounreay in Caithness, will generate enough electricity to power approximately 70,000 homes – around 64 per cent of those in the Highland Council Area.
Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP) is managing the development activities of PFOWF on behalf of Highland Wind Limited. Development is planned over two stages. The first stage consists of a single turbine demonstrator capable of generating 8.6 MW, with construction anticipated in 2023. The demonstrator is seen as the pathway to developing the larger Pentland floating array project, as well as future floating wind projects in Scotland.
The second stage is the larger array project comprising up to ten turbines which will be collectively capable of generating up to 100 MW. Construction of the array is expected to commence in 2025 and it will be operational in 2027. Upon completion, the array will be the largest of its kind in the world, the developer said.
Whilst the exact floating technology solutions are yet to be decided, a key consideration is building on existing technical expertise in Scotland to maximise local supply chains.
”We believe in an inclusive approach to developing our offshore wind projects, ensuring that local companies and communities gain the advantage from the opportunities these projects bring. We’re committed to awarding Scotland’s supply chain with the local content work needed to support job creation and boost the country’s floating wind capabilities and experience,” Michael Hannibal, Partner at CIP said:
The extreme conditions associated with the north coast of Scotland means that the understandings gained on the engineering and design work for the Pentland project will be easily transferable to most other locations worldwide.
The PFOWF project benefits from existing consents for the Demo granted by Marine Scotland, a lease from Crown Estate Scotland to test and demonstrate a floating project generating up to 100MW – currently the only one in Scotland, and existing grid connection agreements.
To develop the project within the proposed timeframes offshore environmental surveys were completed to inform the application, a floating LiDAR buoy has been deployed on site, and a campaign of geophysical and geotechnical surveys is close to completion.
This follows the recent confirmation that CIP has entered the ScotWind process as part of a consortium with SSE Renewables and Marubeni Corporation.
Alan Hannah, Managing Director at COP UK, said: ”Floating offshore wind projects are vital to the UK meeting its net zero targets. This is an exciting floating project for Scotland ahead of the ScotWind announcements early next year. Learnings and understandings from pre-commercial projects are key to the speedy commercialisation of floating wind in Scotland.”
COP recently opened its Global Floating Wind Competence Centre in Edinburgh and alongside industry, will develop the centre to establish a base of Scottish floating offshore wind expertise which can be exported internationally.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), up to 19 GW of floating offshore wind capacity is forecast for installation globally by 2030. Floating wind has the potential to increase offshore wind resource tenfold, playing an increasingly important role in accelerating the energy transition.