Norwegian company Statoil has been granted a lease agreement by the Crown Estate for the next phase of its Hywind project, which will feature five 6MW floating turbines.
The turbines will be built in waters exceeding 100m in depth at a site in Buchan Deep, around 20-30km off the coast of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.
The project, which is claimed to be Europe's largest floating wind project, builds on the success of the first phase of the Hywind project, off the Norwegian coast. The first phase, which has been in operation since 2009, features a 2.3MW floating wind turbine from Siemens.
The floating wind farms, which act as a better alternative for countries with little space for onshore wind farms, will be helpful in those areas where there is not enough wind on land.
The Crown Estate and Statoil have been working together over the past two years to move forward with the project and have finalised on the lease agreement.
As it has now obtained lease agreement, the company is now working to secure the necessary consents from the Scottish Government.
The Buchan Deep site will play a key role in demonstrating that the technology can operate as part of an array and showing how experience and knowledge from the Hywind first phase been incorporated into the new designs.
Statoil senior vice-president for renewable energy Siri Kindem said the latest agreement is a key milestone for the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park and represents a new step in the development towards a future floating commercial scale park.
Kindem said, "We look forward to a progressed dialogue with key stakeholders in Scotland including communities, the local supply chain and the authorities.
"We will continue to mature the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park towards a final investment decision, by conducting marine surveys and concept studies in order to demonstrate technical and commercial feasibility for future offshore floating wind."
Image: The Hywind project in the UK waters will feature five 6MW floating turbines. Photo: courtesy of The Crown Estate.