CIP and Hexicon to Halve Pentland Floating Wind Project Area

The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) consortium will reduce the area of the Pentland floating wind farm site by half and the maximum number of turbines from ten to seven, following feedback from stakeholders and the local community.

The floating wind project is being developed by Highland Wind Limited, which is majority-owned by a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) with Hexicon as a minority shareholder. Project development activities are being led by CIP’s development partner, Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP). 

The decision to reduce the size of the project area comes ahead of the submission of the development consent application to Marine Scotland later in the summer.

“Following consultation events held in May, it was clear the key concerns identified were around any visual impacts of the project. We’ve taken this feedback on board and following progression of our environmental impact assessment and survey and design work, we’ve addressed this and will reduce the overall project area by half and the maximum number of turbines present from ten to seven”, said Richard Copeland, Project Director.

This means the developer will use more compact turbines, reducing the spread of wind turbines from views along the coastline, according to Copeland.

“The reduction in the number of turbines is possible due to advancements in wind turbine generator technology which means with fewer turbines we can still deliver 100MW of clean energy, enough to power around 70,000 homes, 65% of those in the Highland Council area”.

The Pentland floating wind farm will be constructed in two stages.

The first consists of a single turbine demonstrator that will showcase new floating wind technology with a high potential for localisation in Scotland, with deployment expected in 2025, the developer said. The remaining turbines will be installed in 2026.

By staging the project development, the single turbine demonstrator will provide key learnings to build out the remainder of the turbines and also aid the development of future floating wind projects in Scotland, according to PFOWF.

The exact floating technological solutions for the project are yet to be determined.

At the beginning of this year, the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Demonstrator was awarded GBP 9.6 million of UK government funding to develop and demonstrate a suite of UK-manufactured innovative floating wind technologies for the first time.

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CIP “revived” the project last year, after the Dounreay Trì floating wind farm, initially planned to be developed at the site, was discontinued.

The news from the PFOW consortium on reducing the size of the Pentland project area comes shortly after SSE Renewables announced plans to further reduce the size of the area of its Berwick Bank offshore wind farm site by 20 per cent, before applying for planning consent with Scottish Ministers this year.

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SSE Renewables already reduced the area by 10 per cent last year.

After deciding to reduce the Berwick Bank project site further, SSE said that was one of several measures being taken by the project to reduce potential effects on local seabird populations as well as benthic and shellfish ecology, fishing, shipping and navigation.

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Photo: Highland Wind Limited