Highland Council has approved a plan to build a proposed demonstration floating wind farm off the Caithness coast near Thurso by the Swedish engineering company, Hexicon.
The twin turbine project will be capable of generating 10-MW of electricity, enough to power around 8,000 homes.
By opening up the deeper waters off the North and West Coast of Scotland, new floating wind farms can make a significant contribution to helping Scotland meet its renewable energy targets.
Marcus Thor, Project Director for Dounreay Trì Limited, said, “We are delighted that the council has agreed with this project and hope that Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government can now also take a timely decision on it.
“This demonstration facility which will be built and operated in Scotland opens up the possibility for a significant increase in offshore wind generation and associated supply chain benefits in Scotland.”
The wind farm will be deployed in Scottish Territorial Waters approximately five miles off Dounreay in Summer 2018. The application to Marine Scotland and Scottish Ministers must now be processed by 31 March as the Renewable Obligation Certificate level required is only available to projects approved by that date.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is inviting bidders to qualify for its first renewable energy tender by 20 March.
The world’s top crude oil exporter is laying the groundwork for a roll-out of wind and solar power, which will allow it to reduce the amount of oil used domestically and, it hopes, will stimulate economic development in clean energy.
The selected parties will be announced by 10 April and will be able to present their offers for the projects from 17 April to the end of July, according to a statement by the Riyadh energy ministry.
As much as 700MW of wind and solar power will be available in this tender – the first stage of Saudi Arabia’s plan to develop almost 10GW of renewable energy by 2023.