Europe’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm to go ahead

Scottish ministers have given the go-ahead to plans to build a floating offshore wind farm which will be the first commercial-scale project of its kind in Europe.

The 35-turbine Green Volt offshore wind farm, which will be located off the coast of Aberdeenshire, will be capable of producing up to 560MW of low-carbon electricity when it begins operating in 2029.
The scheme, a joint venture between Aberdeen-based Flotation Energy and Norwegian company Vårgrønn, will primarily supply power to oil and gas platforms in the North Sea, allowing participating facilities to move away from diesel and gas generators. . Excess energy will be injected into the UK grid.

With onshore consent announced earlier this month, Green Volt has received all its planning approvals and remains on track to become the first commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm in Europe.
The project is the first to be approved as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (Intog) leasing round, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of oil production. The wind farm is estimated to save around one million tonnes of carbon each year, while attracting up to £3 billion in investment and creating hundreds of jobs.
Its approval by Marine Scotland will contribute to the North Sea Transition Agreement’s goal of halving the UK’s marine climate emissions by 2030.

First Minister Humza Yousaf welcomed the agreement, saying: “This is an important milestone that will help secure Scotland’s place at the forefront of floating wind technology.
“We have already underlined our commitment to making Scotland a global leader in offshore wind by committing to invest up to £500 million over five years to catalyze private investment in infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of the sector.

“Investor confidence in Scotland’s renewable sector is growing, as illustrated by significant investments in ScotWind leasing rounds and in the ports and supply chain infrastructure facilities that will enable the sector to develop. We have a strong record in delivering robust consents, ensuring the right projects are built in the right place at the right time.”

Flotation Energy chief executive Nicol Stephen said: “Gaining consent just over a year after our seabed exclusivity was awarded is a testament to the commitment, speed and determination of our Green Volt team, the Scottish Government and its key agencies.

”Green Volt is of international significance, placing Scotland at the leading edge of a new floating wind sector. This multi-billion pound development can now move forward confidently, creating hundreds of local jobs and proving that the UK and Scottish supply chain is ready to deliver commercial-scale floating projects, at pace.”

Olav Hetland, chief executive at Vårgrønn, said: ”Floating wind is set to be a huge global market in the decades to come. By being a frontrunner, Scotland is now positioned to be home to world-leading expertise and a whole industry of new jobs. Green Volt will deploy pioneering technology at an unprecedented scale, advancing what is possible in renewable energy.”