Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners-led Pentland floating offshore wind farm has been granted planning permission in principle from Scotland's Highland Council for its onshore infrastructure.
To be located 7.5km off the coast of Dounreay in Caithness, Pentland will generate 100MW making it capable of providing electricity to almost 70,000 homes, equivalent to 65% of those in the Highland Council area.
The permission by the Higlands Council provides an ‘in principle’ acceptance of the development and paves the way for the development of export cables and an onshore substation located near HMS Vulcan and Dounreay which will feed power from the wind farm into the existing grid network.
The announcement follows the Council’s North Planning Committee confirmation in December 2022 that it raised no objection to Pentland floating offshore wind farm's offshore application – this came as part of Marine Scotland’s consultation process. The wind farm is expected to be fully operational by 2026, with construction set to begin in late 2023.
Richard Copeland, Project Director, said: “We welcome the Highland Council’s decision to grant the onshore planning permission in principle for Pentland. The project will be the blueprint to advance the deployment of large-scale floating offshore wind in the UK and globally, so this a significant milestone for us as a project and for the industry generally.
“As the pipeline of floating offshore wind projects continues to grow, so will the need for a skilled green workforce. Pentland offers a prime opportunity to build this capacity by supporting the creation of up to 1,300 full time equivalent supply chain roles during construction and 85 during operation.”
"We also expect Pentland to deliver lifetime expenditure of £419m in the UK which is in line with our 40-60% lifetime UK content aim. This will see the project offer essential work to nurture domestic floating wind technology expertise as well as green skills development.”
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in October 2022 selected Stiesdal Offshore’s TetraSub floating foundation structure for the 100MW floating wind project.
The technology has been said to offer a lightweight and cost-effective floating solution, based on factory-made modules which are then assembled domestically in port to form a complete foundation.