A floating demonstration wind farm designed by Swedish firm Hexicon, has been granted planning consent by Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse.
The two turbine Dounreay Trì Floating Wind Demonstration Project will be located approximately six km off the Caithness coastline. It gets its name from the three float layout it uses to feather its two turbines into the eye of the wind.
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.
The demonstration project will support the creation of around 100 jobs during assembly, installation and through ongoing operations and maintenance activities, and power the equivalent of almost 8,000 homes.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “Once operational, this demonstrator project will help to develop this pioneering technology and cement Scotland’s reputation at the forefront of innovation in the renewables sector. With the consent for this project, the Scottish Government has now approved a total of 92MW of floating offshore wind, enough to power almost 60,000 homes. This not only highlights our commitment to exploring this innovative technology, but offers real scope for the development of wind energy projects in deeper water, in Scotland and across the world.
“In addition, the 12 MW project will produce enough electricity to power almost 8,000 homes and will create jobs and investment across Scotland through the use of Scotland’s supply chain.
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting low carbon energy is outlined in our draft Energy Strategy which sets out next steps and how we will continue to transition to a low carbon economy, with the offshore wind sector – developed with due regard to our natural environment - playing an increasingly influential role.”
Responding to news that a ground-breaking floating demonstration wind farm off the coast of Caithness at Dounreay has today been granted planning consent by the Scottish Government;
Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: "Hexicon's Dounreay Tri is another ground-breaking project for Scotland's renewable energy sector and shows how our natural resources and skilled supply chain are proving attractive to businesses from across the globe.
"Scotland is home to approximately 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource and we are now starting to build out projects which will harness this potential.
The developer this new technology, Hexicon, is a Swedish Design and Engineering house developing floating multi-turbine platforms. Its patented technology enables the platform to align with the wind direction, maximising energy yield from free wind for its turbines. This enables efficient harvesting of the best offshore energy resources further offshore in deeper waters.
By Jake Frith