Accelerating the development of floating wind in Scotland

Environment, Community, Consents

Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm believes in an inclusive approach to developing offshore wind projects, ensuring that local companies and communities gain the advantage from the opportunities these projects bring.

We believe that engaging local communities at an early stage in the project’s development will lead to a better project. We have reached out and met with local community councils, stakeholders and local community organisations and will continue to seek views throughout the development of the project.

Public consultation is an important part of the application process. In September 2021 we launched the first public consultation event which sought feedback on the initial project proposals. This was conducted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. In May 2022 we held in-person and virtual stakeholder events which provided an update on project progress.

Through these consultation periods, we received valuable feedback and on 4 July 2022 a Project Information Update was launched to show how feedback has been considered and how it has informed the project design. The Project Information Update can be accessed here.

We are always keen to hear feedback on the project, please reach out to the project team using the contact form.

Environmental Impact Assessment

A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is currently being 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 design of the project from an environmental perspective, and sets out standard industry and additional mitigation measures to eliminate or minimise the project’s effect on the environment.

The project team is engaging with key environmental and conservation stakeholders and other relevant consultees in order to inform the scope of the EIA and detail of the project. Documents that have been prepared for the EIA application 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 will include 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.

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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.


Benefits

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. 

Community

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

We have undertaken social and economic studies with involvement of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and leading industry experts to understand the positive impacts the project will have (both directly and indirectly) on the community, including through providing jobs, Gross Value Added (GVA) potential and demand for local services.

Developing the Local Supply Chain

We have commissioned a supply chain study to complement the socio-economic work in order to assess local supply chain capability and identify opportunities to support the project. 


Timeline

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

Timeline is indicative and is subject to change

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