The 2GW West of Orkney Windfarm is the first ScotWind project to submit an offshore consent application to Scottish ministers.
ScotWind was the first offshore wind leasing round within Scottish waters for a decade, and it was during this bidding round that the West of Orkney Windfarm secured developments rights for an area of seabed from The Crown Estate Scotland.
During the Development of the ScotWind auction and Upcoming Opportunities – What’s New in the UK Wind Market, panel at Solar Media’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit Europe this year, Sharanya Kumaramurthy, market intelligence manager at Energy Industries Council, stated that the ScotWind leasing round had “really put Scotland on a pedestal for offshore wind supply chain.”
Submitting consent applications a mere 20 months after being awarded the site, the wind farm will feature up to 125 turbines on fixed foundations and an expected capacity of approximately 2GW.
This would make it bigger than any offshore wind farm (by capacity) that became operational in 2022. According to government data the largest offshore project to that went into operation last year was the 1,386MW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm.
The Orkney project – a joint venture between Corio Generation, French fossil fuels company TotalEnergies and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG) – aims to be operational in 2029.
“Our vision is to develop a world-leading offshore windfarm that will spearhead the decarbonization of the Scottish economy and play a pivotal role in fostering growth, empowerment and prosperity for local communities,” said development manager at the West of Orkney Windfarm, Jack Farnham.
“Any project which intends to power around two million homes cannot be undertaken in isolation from the communities in which it will operate. Over the last two years we’ve organised 33 public events, reaching over 2400 residents across Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney. These events have served as a platform for the community to actively participate and engage with the project’s design, ensuring that we develop an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial project that resonates with local needs and aspirations.
“This application outlines our commitment to safeguard marine habitats, protect wildlife, and minimise any potential disturbances to the local ecosystem. It includes a biodiversity enhancement plan, setting out how the West of Orkney Windfarm will positively interact, over the long term, with the environment of the area in which we operate. Moreover, it highlights our proactive approach to engaging with local communities to foster sustainable development and create a positive legacy across generations.”