The offshore consent application for the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm has been approved by the Highland Council’s North Planning committee.
It was agreed by a majority of Councillors that no objection should be raised in relation to the applications under s36 of the Electricity Act and under s20 of the Marine (Scotland) Act as part of Marine Scotland’s consultation process . The offshore application will now be determined by Marine Scotland. The next step will be consent for the project’s onshore application which will be heard by Councillors in January 2023.
Richard Copeland, Project Director, said: “This is a major step forward for the project, and we welcome the Highland Council’s decision to raise no objection to our application which will bring significant economic benefits to the local area.
“Overall, it is expected that Pentland will deliver lifetime expenditure of £419m GBP in the UK which is in line with the project’s 40-60% lifetime UK content aim. Projections also show Pentland will support the creation of up to 1,300 FTE supply chain roles during construction and 85 FTE during operation of the project.
“Alongside these socio-economic benefits, we’ve continued to progress initiatives such as developing an Operations and Maintenance base at Scrabster harbour, consulting on our proposed community benefit fund and supporting local STEM careers through our regional high school bursary awards.
“At all stages of the project we’ve consulted extensively with the local community and made key changes to the final design of the PFOWF to minimise potential visual and other environmental impacts based on feedback from our consultation events. And we thank the local community and stakeholders for their positive engagement to date”
Once constructed the PFOWF is estimated to provide enough green energy for almost 70,000 homes per year, approximately 65% of those in the Highland Council area.
PFOWF will sit 7.5km offshore off the coast of Dounreay with an onshore substation planned to be located near HMS Vulcan and Dounreay.
If Marine Scotland grants consent, construction is likely to begin in 2024, with the wind farm fully operational by 2026.