World’s first floating turbine park planned near Peterhead

Plans have been unveiled for the development of a Hywind Scotland Pilot Wind Turbine Park 25km off the Peterhead coast.

The hywind concept combines known technologies in an entirely new context, and opens up the opportunity to capture wind energy in deepwater areas.

Plans for the offshore wind demonstration project includes five floating wind turbines which will each be anchored by three lines around 70 to 85 meters long.

The turbines will be linked to the grid connection at the Grange substation.

It is hoped the project will demonstrate cost efficiency and low risk solutions for larger parks in the future.

Project manager Torgeir Nakken said: “We chose the Buchan Deep location because there are deep waters, good wind and it is relatively close to the coast.”

The team behind the project, Statoil, have trialed this type of operation before as Mr Nakken explained: “We started this project in 2010 and had a full scale pilot off the coast of Norway which has been operational over the last four years and it is still doing well.

“We hope the next step will be taking it here to Scotland.”

If the project gets the go-ahead, it could be the world’s first floating turbine park.

The project will require a Marine Licence for the activities in the pilot park and for the export cable, as well as planning permission for the onshore activities.

The consent applications will be submitted to the authorities by early 2015.

Should the project get granted, it will aim to be complete and fully functional by 2017.

Public consultations were available on Tuesday and Wednesday at Peterhead’s Palace Hotel, with hourly presentations followed by question and answer sessions by Mr Nakken and his team.