Swedish marine energy firm gets green-light to launch potential game-changing floating wind farm in Scotland

CGI of Dounreay Tri floating wind farm
CGI of Dounreay Tri floating wind farm

A Swedish-based marine power developer has won planning consent for a novel floating windfarm five miles off the Caithness coast of Scotland by the Scottish Government.

The decision means that the facility will achieve the necessary Renewables Obligation accreditation by the end of the month to allow it to proceed, in what will be a major boost for Scotland.

The prototype facility, which will be constructed at the Nigg facility in the Highlands, will put Scotland at the forefront of developing this innovative technology which can be deployed in deep water rather than just in the shallower waters, such as those off the East Coast, as at present.

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 the North and West Coast of Scotland the new floating windfarms can make a significant contribution to helping Scotland meet its renewable energy targets.

The project will support the creation of around 100 jobs during assembly, installation and through ongoing operations and maintenance activities.

The decision comes after the recent approval of the Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind farm and last year’s consent of the Hywind Scotland Pilot, which means Scotland has now agreed planning permission for up to 92MW of floating offshore wind, placing the country as a world centre for this innovative technology.

Jack Farnham, Consents Manager for Dounreay Tri, said: “This will be a major boost for Scotland as not only will this facility be constructed and maintained in Scotland but it opens up the possibility for Scotland in leading the world in this  technology. This type of facility is potentially deployable in many more locations around the world than conventional  offshore wind.”

Speaking on behalf of Hexicon, the parent company of the Dounreay Tri, which developed the technology, Marcus Thor, the Dounreay Trì Project Director, said, “It is fantastic news for Hexicon that the Dounreay Trì project has permission to proceed. We are grateful that Scotland is taking positive steps to lead in the development of this innovative technology.

“Hexicon is encouraged that this demonstration plant will lead to the deployment of many more floating windfarms around the world.”

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 1m, subject to ground conditions
  • A substation or switchgear to transfer power to the grid, at, or near, the existing Dounreay Substation.

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