Dounreay Trì floating demonstration wind farm is being developed by Hexicon AB in the Scottish territorial waters 9km off Dounreay, Caithness County, Scotland.
Hexicon submitted a scoping report on the proposed project to Marine Scotland in January 2016. An application seeking a licence to construct and operate the floating wind project was submitted to the Scottish Government in October 2016.
The project is subject to Marine Scotland and Scottish Ministers’ approval, which will process the planning application by 31 March 2017. The wind farm is expected to be commissioned by summer 2018.
Financing for the Scottish demonstration floating wind farm
Hexicon raised SEK25m ($3.06m) funding for the wind farm’s development through new shares issuance. In addition, the company received SEK2.7m ($0.299m) financing from Vinnova.
Dounreay Trì floating demonstration wind project make-up
The main offshore components of the wind farm will include a semi-submersible platform fitted with two 5MW wind turbines, mooring lines or chains, and drag-embedment anchors.
The floating foundation platform will have a length of 180m and width of 80m. It will have a full load draught of 15m and hub height of 100m. The total weight of iron and steel to be used for both the platform and turbines is estimated to be 7,972t.
The mooring system will have up to eight mooring lines anchored to the seabed. From the centre of the platform, the anchors will have a radius of 800m and occupy an area of approximately 2km² on the seabed.
The onshore infrastructure will include a cable landfall west of the Dounreay nuclear facility, an onshore cable buried to a depth of 1m, and a substation or switchgear to transfer power to the grid located near the Dounreay substation. It will also include associated onshore electrical infrastructure.
The fabrication works for the platform construction are expected to begin in summer 2017. Assembly works are expected to commence at Nigg Energy Park’s Dry Dock facility and are expected to continue until the first half of 2018.
Key players involved with the Dounreay Tri demonstration wind project
Atkins was selected as the engineering partner for the Dounreay Trì floating wind project. Its scope of work includes analysing the two-turbine structure for detailed design, and physical model testing of the new design.
Global Energy Group was awarded the construction contract for the project. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) delivered site selection, wind analysis and metocean services for the scoping report of the project.
Highland port of Scrabster was contracted to service the facility. HiDef Aerial Surveying was contracted to carry out high-resolution video marine mammal and bird surveys for the project in January 2015.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) provided a consultation response to the Dounreay wind farm in November 2016. ABS Group delivered preliminary planning as well as third-party certification and verification services to the project.
SMRU Consulting was contracted to provide the marine mammal impact assessment for the environmental statement of the project in November 2016. The contractual scope includes a desktop review to investigate the abundance and distribution of marine mammals in the project area and assessment of underwater noise, vessel disturbance and entanglement risk.
Benefits of the Dounreay Trì floating wind farm
The proposed floating wind demonstration project will be capable of generating up to 10MW of electricity, which will be adequate to provide electricity to approximately 8,000 homes.
The facility will put Scotland at the forefront of developing this innovative technology, which can be deployed in deep water, rather than just shallow waters. The technology could open up the market potential for Scottish manufacturers to develop the capacity of deepwater facilities, as they can be entirely assembled in the construction yard and then tugged into position.