£250m floating wind farm approved off Aberdeen coast
The construction of eight floating wind turbines off the coast of Aberdeen has been approved by the Scottish Government.
It is estimated the £250m offshore wind farm will create about 110 jobs during the assembly, installation and ongoing maintenance activities when it is erected about nine miles south-east of the city.
The floating development by Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited will have a capacity of around 50MW and prevent CO2 emissions of more than 94,500 tonnes per year.
The first turbine from the “world’s largest floating wind array” is expected to be on site in the second quarter of 2018.
The complete installation will comprise eight 6MW wind turbine generator units with semi-submersible sub-structures. The array will be connected to the onshore grid by two 33kV export cables.
Holyrood business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse approved the development on Thursday.
He said: “Once operational, this pioneering, 50MW Kincardine offshore wind farm will produce enough electricity to power almost 56,000 homes and will create jobs and investment across Scotland through the use of our supply chain.
“It will also cement our place as one of the world’s leading nations in the innovation and deployment of floating offshore wind.
“If the technology can be demonstrated at scale, it has huge potential to help Scotland meet its energy needs and to develop a supply chain that can service opportunities elsewhere in Europe and in markets such as south-east Asia and North America.”
Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL) is a new company formed by Pilot Offshore Renewable Energy (PORL) and Atkins Ltd. PORL is an Aberdeen-based joint venture between MacAskill Associates Limited and Renewable Energy Ventures (Offshore) Limited.
Project director Carlos Barat said: “This is a significant development not just for Kincardine Offshore, but for the offshore renewables sector in Scotland, the wider UK and across Europe.
“Through the Kincardine project we will open up new opportunities for other offshore floating wind developments.
“This will herald a new era allowing turbines to be installed in deeper waters further offshore.”
Lindsay Roberts, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland is home to approximately 25 per cent of Europe’s offshore wind resource and we are now starting to build projects which will harness this potential.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “The continued development of floating turbines in Scotland is encouraging as it could enable us and other nations to secure even more clean power from offshore wind.”
The cost of producing electricity from offshore wind farms in the UK has fallen by 32 per cent in the past four years, meeting a government target four years early, according to a report in January.