Accelerating the development of floating wind in Scotland

Environment, Community, Consents

The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) believes in an inclusive approach to developing offshore wind projects, ensuring that both local companies and communities benefit from the opportunities these projects bring. 

Throughout 2021 and 2022, the project carried out an extensive public consultation process which informed the project design. Public consultation is an important part of the application process and we believe that engaging with local communities at an early stage in development will lead to a better development.  

The offshore application for the PFOWF was submitted to Marine Scotland in August 2022. Scottish Ministers approved the offshore consent application in June 2023, allowing the construction and operation of the project with a capacity of around 100MW.  

The applications and supporting documentation are available from our Document Library and from Marine Scotland’s website.  

The onshore application for planning permission in principle was submitted to The Highland Council granted in January 2023. The application and supporting documentation are available from our Document Library and The Highland Council’s Consent Portal.  

Environmental Impact Assessment

A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the onshore and offshore elements of the project was undertaken by UK-based, internationally recognised consultants. EIA is a process which identifies and assesses the potential significant environmental effects of a project, informs the project design from an environmental perspective, and sets out standard industry and additional mitigation measures to eliminate or minimise the project’s effect on the environment. 

Documents prepared for the onshore and offshore EIA are available in the Document Library

In order to understand the local environment, potential impact from the development and how the project can reduce and mitigate impacts, the Environmental Impact Assessments included the findings from a range of surveys and studies conducted in the local area.

Click on the icons of the image below for more information about each.


A site walkover survey has been undertaken to ground truth the above ground elements and constraints of the onshore site. Additionally, onshore geotechnical site investigations and studies were completed to inform onshore cable routing activities and substation siting.

Socio-economic studies have been undertaken to quantify aspects such as potential for direct, indirect, and induced jobs and GVA associated with the development and operation of the proposed project. A supply chain study has also been conducted to identify benefits for the supply chain. 

A program of terrestrial ecology surveys were undertaken to identify the local wildlife and ecology including such species such as otters and bats, as well as any protected or sensitive habitats or flowers, such as bogs.

An archaeology and cultural heritage site survey was conducted to ascertain the position of any potentially vulnerable cultural heritage features within the onshore site.

Engagement with stakeholders, including local residents, community councils, local and national authorities.

A floating LiDAR buoy was deployed in order to ascertain metocean characteristics for the offshore site, this data will be used to ensure that the correct floating wind technologies are selected for the Project.

Benthic surveys were conducted offshore in order to obtain samples of the seabed to characterise the benthic habitats, macrofaunal species and the quaternary sediments to support the offshore EIA.

Aerial surveys were undertaken to identify seabirds and marine mammals including whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals in the vicinity of the offshore site.

In order to ascertain the potential visual impacts on static viewpoints a number of wirelines and photomontages have been created from all viewpoints to be assessed within the EIAs.

A high-level assessment of the turbine noise and potential impacts to receptors was undertaken, in accordance with relevant guidance.

A program of bird surveys was undertaken to identify the local ornithology features in order to support the offshore ornithology impact assessment. These surveys include terrestrial breeding bird surveys, breeding seabird surveys and wintering bird surveys.

Shore-based maritime traffic surveys (summer and winter) of the offshore site area was undertaken using a combination of radar, AIS and visual observations. These results from the surveys are used to understand the shipping activities in the vicinity of the development.

Geotechnical and geophysical surveys of the seabed were undertaken to assess the technical stability of the seabed in order to inform the installation requirements of the subsurface structures and export cable.

Engagement with local fisheries is being undertaken to understand how they use the offshore wind farm site, cable route and surrounding area.


Skills Development

Scotland is already a world leader in floating technology due to its oil and gas maritime heritage and is an ideal place to develop floating wind technology. Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is committed to supporting Scotland to develop a workforce with transferable skills and build on experience from heritage industries and growing national skills in this technology. 


We want to ensure the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm provides long term benefits to communities local to the development. We are at the early stages of developing a Community Benefits Fund, which would likely become available on commissioning of the array project. Foundation Scotland has carried out a consultation on a proposed community benefit fund for the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm. More information about the consultation is available here.

Jobs and Local Economy

Pentland carried out a supply chain mapping exercise and local content assessment to understand regional capabilities and the geographical breakdown of project expenditure, supported by locally based consultancy Xodus and the University of the Highlands and Islands. It is expected Pentland will deliver lifetime expenditure of £419m GBP in the UK. This is in line with the project’s 40-60% lifetime UK content aim. Projections also show Pentland will support up to 1,300 FTE supply chain roles during construction and 85 FTE during operation of the project.

Developing the Local Supply Chain

Pentland has prepared a Supply Chain Development Statement to outline the project’s commitments to developing the local supply chain. The process has allowed us to understand the existing supply chain capabilities on offer, and the areas in which we can drive local expenditure, job creation and skills development and will enable us to have early visibility of future opportunities and engage with the supply chain as widely as possible. We also held a series of supply chain events across the UK in 2022 to introduce the project and outline the opportunities available to suppliers when the offshore wind farm is complete. These will be followed by further events in 2023 where tier one contractors will have the opportunity to meet the buyer and learn more about the work packages available.


Q3 2020 – Q3 2021Offshore ornithology and marine mammals surveys
Q4 2020EIA scoping report submitted
Q1 2021 – Q3 2022Offshore EIA report preparation
Q1 2021 – Q4 2021Onshore ornithology surveys
Q2 2021Geophysical surveys
Q2 2021Benthic surveys
Q2 2021 – Q3 2021Onshore ecology surveys
Q2 2021 – Q3 2021Seascape, landscape, and visual surveys
Q2 2021 – Q4 2022Onshore application preparation
Q3 2021Geotechnical surveys
Q3 2021Receipt of EIA scoping opinion
Q3 2021Public consultation event 1
Q3 2021 – 2023Metocean buoy deployed
Q3 2021 – Q4 2021Maritime traffic surveys
Q3 2021 – Q4 2021Onshore site investigations
Q2 2022Public consultation event 2
Q2 2022Offshore geotechnical survey
Q3 2022Submission of offshore application to Marine Scotland
Q3 2022Onshore Consultation Event
Q4 2022Submission of onshore application to Highland Council
Q1 2023Onshore consent determination
2023Offshore Consent Determination
Q2 2023Offshore geotechnical survey
2024Commencement of construction
2026Completion of construction

Timeline is indicative and is subject to change

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