What are the key aspects of a wind turbine?
Generic floating structure
(not to scale)
Who are Highland Wind Limited?
Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is being developed by Highland Wind Limited which is majority owned by a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) with Hexicon AB as a minority shareholder. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S (CIP) is a fund management company focused on energy infrastructure including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, reserve capacity and storage, and other energy assets like Power-to-X. It was founded in 2012 and currently has approximately EUR 16 billion under management. CIP is a major investor in the offshore wind sector and has significant investments in a number of offshore wind projects around the world. Development activities are being led by CIP’s development partner, Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP). The project development team is based in COP’s Global Floating Wind Competence Centre in Edinburgh.
What are the benefits of floating wind and do we need it?
Almost 80% of the world’s wind resource is in water deeper than 60 metres. It is where windspeeds are stronger and more consistent meaning higher capacity factors. Currently the majority of offshore wind farms in Scotland are fixed directly to the seabed, there are only two floating wind farms in operation. Unlike traditional fixed bottom wind farms, floating wind farms use wind turbine generators mounted on a floating substructure which is connected to the seabed using mooring lines and anchors. Much of the seabed around Scotland is too deep to be well suited to fixed bottom turbines. Floating offshore wind provides a technological solution which enables the production of large amounts of renewable energy which will be important to both Scotland's and the UK’s energy transition and is key to achieving net zero.
How does Dounreay Trì Project fit in with your proposal?
The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm Project is an update to the Dounreay Trì Project that was granted key consents and a site lease in 2017. The original Dounreay Trì Project consisted of a two-turbine offshore wind farm, with an installed capacity of between 8 to 12 MW, approximately 6 km off Dounreay, Caithness. Highland Wind Limited acquired the Project and associated consent, licences and site lease in 2021. The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm will be built out under a new consent.
What are your plans?
The primary objective of the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is to test and demonstrate a technology solution for floating wind in Scotland. By developing the project in stages, through deploying the single turbine followed by the remaining turbines a year later, the capabilities of the local supply chain in Scotland will be better understood. This understanding will allow us to support the development of a strong local supply chain for floating wind in Scotland, helping to meet climate change targets, and providing highly skilled jobs and energy security. Highland Wind Limited firmly believes that this project will be an enabler for larger scale developments resulting from the current ScotWind Leasing Round and in turn will result in knowledge exchange and export opportunities in relation to the global floating offshore wind market.
What technology are you using?
In October 2022, it was announced that Stiesdal Offshore’s innovative TetraSub concept, the world’s first fully industrialised floating technology, will be the floating foundation structure for the project. The TetraSub concept is the world’s first fully industrialised floating offshore technology offering a lightweight and cost-effective floating foundation made up of factory-made modules. No manufacturing takes place at the quayside, instead these ready-made modules are assembled in ports using existing infrastructure to form a complete foundation. The process significantly reduces both manufacturing hours and transportation costs and enables assembly to take place domestically within local ports.
Will I see the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm from the shore?
The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is located off the coast of Dounreay. The visual impact of the turbines has been assessed through the Seascape, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment which is available in the Document Library.
Will there be disruptions during construction?
We are working to engage closely with landowners, local residents, the Maritime Coastguard Authority, ports and harbours and Traffic and Transport Scotland to ensure the development minimises disruptions to local communities as far as possible. We already understand there are some concerns regarding construction and operational traffic in the local area. This has been taken into account in our application.
What about environmental impacts on seabirds and other marine life?
Renewable energy technologies are key to combating the effects of climate change, which is considered one of the biggest threats to marine life. Floating wind is part of the solution for a greener and safer future. Nonetheless, any development activity in the marine environment has the potential to impact on marine life and seabirds. We are committed to following best practice and have undertaken environmental surveys and have conducted assessments, monitoring and modelling to minimise any impact on wildlife during the project’s development which has formed part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports. The project team will continue engagement with key environmental and conservation stakeholders and other relevant consultees throughout the determination process.
When will the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm be completed?
Construction is expected to commence in 2024, with the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm anticipated at being fully operational in 2026.
How many homes will you power?
The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm will provide enough green energy for approximately 70,000 homes per year, equivalent to approximately 65% of households in The Highland Council Area (based on 2020 figures). This would offset up to 125,000 tonnes of CO2 when considering all types of fossil fuels (https://www.gov.scot/publications/renewable-and-conversion-calculators/)
How are you involving the local community?
Public consultation is an important part of the application process. Throughout 2021 and 2022 the project has undertaken extensive public consultation which has informed the project design. We will continue this engagement with stakeholders and the local community throughout the development process.
What are the benefits to the local community?
Pentland carried out a supply chain mapping exercise and local content assessment to understand regional capabilities and the geographical breakdown of project expenditure. 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.
Who else are you engaging with in the application process?
To date we have been in contact with a number of stakeholders including the Highland Council, Marine Scotland, Scrabster and Wick Harbour Authorities, local fisheries, NatureScot, Northern Lighthouse Board, the Maritime Coastguard Authority, SEPA, landowners, Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, NRTE Vulcan, Crown Estate Scotland, RSPB, Caithness West Community Council and Melvich Community Council. We will continue to engage with stakeholders throughout the development process.
I want to keep informed on project updates, how do I do this?
Updates on the project will be provided on this website under ‘Latest News’. You can also register for the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)?
EIA is a process which identifies and assesses the potential significant environmental effects of a project, informs the design of the project from and environmental perspective, and sets out standard industry and additional mitigation measures to eliminate or minimise the project’s effect on the environment.
What is the Project Design Envelope Approach?
The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm has adopted a design envelope approach to develop the project. This is a common approach with major infrastructure projects including offshore wind farms. The design envelope approach does not consent specific technology, but allows outline consent to be granted and enables project impacts to be assessed on the basis of maximum parameters or worst case scenarios for specific receptors. This gives projects the flexibility to utilise new innovations in emerging floating wind technology and greater information on site conditions once this is available.