Accelerating the development of floating wind in Scotland

The project

The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm will be located off the coast of Dounreay, Caithness.

The total project will be capable of providing clean energy to approximately 70,000 homes, equivalent to around 65% of homes in the Highland Local Council Area (based on 2020 figures).


A staged approach to the deployment of the floating technology underpins the development of the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm, as well as our future floating projects in Scotland and globally.

The innovative technology trialled in this project will be key to the commercialisation of this floating technology. It will deliver valuable insight into developing floating wind technology in Scotland.

The learnings from this will help contribute to the development of a strong Scottish supply chain for floating wind.

The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is committed to supporting local suppliers and developing the project so that it promotes the welfare, livelihood and sustainability of local communities.


The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm will be located off the coast of Dounreay, Caithness.

Key elements:

  • Offshore wind turbines
  • Floating substructures
  • Mooring lines
  • Anchors
  • Inter-array cables
  • Export cables 


A landfall site has been identified at Dounreay, immediately adjacent to the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment (NRTE) and the former Dounreay Nuclear Facility.

Key elements:

  • Landfall
  • Cable transition joint bay
  • Joint bays
  • Onshore export cables
  • Onshore substation compound
  • Grid connection works
  • Temporary construction compound
  • Access routes


Floating Offshore Wind – key to achieving net zero and potential for Scottish Supply Chain

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 underpin Scotland and the UK’s energy transition and is key to achieving net zero.


Opportunities to create a new supply chain and job opportunities

Scotland is a world leader in floating technology

Access stronger and more consistent wind resources in deep-water sites

Opportunities for the local supply chain from the significant global pipeline for floating offshore wind

Same or higher energy yields than fixed bottom wind turbines

Potential for faster deployment than fixed bottom turbines


The final project design has not yet been determined and is will be developed through understanding seabed conditions, engineering studies and environmental impacts assessed. Floating technology has some key elements which are outlined below.

Click on or hover over the parts of the diagram for more information.


One of the advantages with floating offshore wind is the capacity for the complete wind turbine and substructure assembly to be towed to site where it is hooked up to the pre-installed mooring system which allows it to be installed much quicker than fixed bottom turbines that require calmer seas and wind conditions during installation.

Subsea Cables

A key design difference between a fixed bottom and floating turbine is the dynamic nature of the cables. The cable system must accommodate the movement of the floating substructure. This is typically achieved by adding a buoyancy element into the design.


The key difference between floating and fixed bottom offshore wind is the use of floating substructures which are connected to the seabed using mooring lines and anchors or piles.

Floating Substructures

Currently there are over 40 floating wind turbine generators (WTGs) structure concepts at varying stages of development in the industry. Each has varying dimensions to meet the unique engineering challenges associated with floating turbines, turbine sizes and project specific requirements.

Mooring and Anchors

The mooring and anchoring systems are responsible for maintaining the position of the floating wind turbine generators (WTGs) during the most extreme events or energetic storms. There are a number of different anchoring solutions available which can be deployed depending on the site conditions.
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