Developer Dounreay Trì Limited has awarded the construction contract for a floating wind farm in the Pentland Firth off Caithness to Inverness-based Global Energy Group.
The twin turbine project will be capable of generating 10MW of electricity, enough to power around 8,000 homes. By opening up the deeper waters off Scotland’s northern and western coasts, new floating wind farms can make a significant contribution to helping Scotland meet its renewable energy targets.
Subject to Marine Scotland and the Scot-Govt. processing the planning application by 31 March 2017, construction work will be carried out at the Nigg Energy Park.
Dounreay Trì – owned by Swedish engineeering company Hexicon – has also entered into an agreement with the port of Scrabster, near Thurso, which will service the facility over its 25 year projected lifespan.
If approved the project, it will create seven full time jobs and support many other jobs locally ranging from the Harbour Authority itself, through to fuel suppliers, cranage and other supply chain activities.
The prototype facility would project Scotland to the forefront of developing this innovative technology which can be deployed in deep water rather than just in the shallower waters, such off the eastern UK seaboard as at present.
The expansion of this new technology could also present a major opportunity for Scots manufacturers as this award to Global Energy Group’s Nigg Energy Park highlights the capability and capacity of these world-class deepwater facilities.
Unlike more conventional offshore wind structures, these wind farms will be entirely assembled in the construction yard and then towed into position some five miles off Dounreay.
Marcus Thor, Project Director, Dounreay Trì, said, “We are delighted to award the construction contract for such an innovative project being installed in Scotland to a Scottish company.
“It certainly has great potential to deliver both renewable energy and jobs for Scotland. Whilst we await the outcome of our planning applications, as and when they are approved, this will place Scotland at the forefront of floating offshore wind production worldwide.”
Ian Cobban, Executive Vice-President, Capital Projects, Global Energy Group, said: “Once planning is confirmed, we envisage fabrication works will commence in Summer 2017, with assembly works through to the first half of 2018.
“The main floating structure will be around 190m by 10 m including columns of 30m height.
“At a time when we have been going through a difficult period with job losses, this will certainly provide much needed additional jobs for us and the local supply chain.”
The Project consists of:
- A two turbine offshore wind farm with a total installed capacity of 10 MW
- A single export cable to bring the power to shore
- The associated onshore electrical infrastructure
The main offshore components are:
- Two offshore wind turbines of 5MW
- A floating foundation platform
- Mooring lines or chains
- Drag-embedment anchors
- One cable, buried, to bring the renewable electricity ashore
- Scour protection for anchors and the export cable, where necessary
The onshore infrastructure components are:
- A cable landfall, west of the Dounreay nuclear facility
- The onshore cable shall be buried to a depth of approximately 3-ft, subject to ground conditions
- A substation or switchgear to transfer power to the grid, at, or near, the existing Dounreay Substation.