New floating wind farm set to put Scottish Highlands at forefront of sustainable energy

Dounreay Trì Limited has awarded the construction contract for a novel floating wind farm off the Northern Coast of Scotland to Scottish energy sector service company, Global Energy Group.

The works will be carried out at the Group’s Nigg Energy Park facility in the Highlands, and the project is subject to Marine Scotland and Scottish Ministers processing the planning application by 31 March 2017.

Dounreay Trì has also entered into an agreement with the Highland port of Scrabster, near Thurso, which will service the facility. If Scottish Ministers approve the project, it will create 7 full time jobs and support many other jobs locally ranging from the Harbour Authority itself, through to fuel suppliers, cranage and other supply chain activities.

The prototype facility would put Scotland at the forefront of developing this innovative technology which can be deployed in deep water rather than just in the shallower waters, such as those off the East Coast, as at present.

The expansion of this new technology could also present a major opportunity for Scottish manufacturers as this award to Global Energy Group’s Nigg Energy Park highlights the capability and capacity of these world-class deepwater facilities. Unlike more conventional offshore wind structures, these wind farms will be entirely assembled in the construction yard and then towed into position. This would certainly open up an enormous market potential.

The twin turbine project will be capable of generating 10MW of electricity, enough to power around 8,000 homes. By opening up the deeper waters off the North and West Coast of Scotland the new floating wind farms can make a significant contribution to helping Scotland meet its renewable energy targets.

Commenting on the award of the contract to Global Energy Group, Marcus Thor, Project Director for Dounreay Trì Limited said, “We are delighted to award the construction contract for such an innovative project being installed in Scotland to a Scottish company. It certainly has great potential to deliver both renewable energy and jobs for Scotland. Whilst we await the outcome of our planning applications, as and when they are approved, this will place Scotland at the forefront of floating offshore wind production worldwide.”

Mr Ian Cobban, Executive Vice President, Capital Projects, for Global Energy Group commented, “we are very pleased to have secured this construction contract for this innovative floating offshore wind device with deep water capability. We have the right experience and facilities to fully support the contract requirements and once planning is confirmed we envisage fabrication works will commence in Summer 2017, with assembly works within Nigg Energy Park’s Dry Dock facility through to the first half of 2018. The main floating structure will be around 190 m by 100 m including columns of 30 m height, making it the largest structure to be loaded out of our facility in recent years. This contract win highlights our ability to diversify our work into many different areas. At a time when we have been going through a difficult period with job losses, this will certainly provide much needed additional jobs for us and the local supply chain.”

Commenting on the agreement with Scrabster, Simon Tuchewicz, Project Operations & Maintenance Manager for Dounreay Tri said, “Dounreay Tri are delighted to enter into this Memorandum of Understanding with the Scrabster Harbour Trust for the development of the port into the Project Maintenance Hub. Scrabster Harbour is an excellent facility, with great local infrastructure and support services that we believe can fully meet the Operation and Maintenance requirements over the 25-year Project life. Dounreay Tri are excited about this announcement and believe it will be mutually beneficial to both parties and demonstrates the commitment Dounreay Tri has to the local community.’

The Scrabster Port Manager Sandy Mackie, said, “Scrabster Harbour Trust is delighted that Dounreay Tri wish to establish an operation at Scrabster. Scrabster is ideally suited to support their operations and maintenance needs. We look forward to working with the company to deliver a successful project that will benefit the port and local economy.”