Statoil is set to develop a pilot park of five floating 6MW turbines which is to be located at Buchan Deep, approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead with a generating capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year.
The pilot park will cover around 4 square kilometres, at a water depth of 95-120m and will harness wind resources to provide renewable energy to the mainland.
As lead consultant in the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Hywind project, Xodus played a pivotal role in the creation of the environmental statement.
Various disciplines from the company were involved to support the assessment – including experts from the underwater acoustics team, and benthic and terrestrial ecologists.
Unlike conventional turbines, Hywind turbines will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system. The turbines will be connected by an inter-array of cables and an export cable will transport electricity from the pilot park to shore at Peterhead.
Project sponsor Liz Foubister, marine renewables specialist at Xodus, explained: “Due to the scale of the pilot project compared to other offshore windfarms off the east coast of Scotland, one of the key issues was ensuring the EIA was appropriate to the size of the development, but yet provide the regulators with sufficient information to be able to consent the project and understand the potential cumulative impacts from all the offshore windfarms in the region.
“We worked closely with the regulators and their advisors in the development of the impact assessment methodology to ensure sufficient data was provided.”
It is expected that the Hywind Scotland development could power around 20,000 houses when production starts in late 2017.