03/10/2023 Press release
West of Orkney Windfarm is first ScotWind project to submit offshore consent application
The West of Orkney Windfarm has reached a major milestone by submitting comprehensive offshore consent applications to Scottish Ministers for a proposed offshore windfarm that promises to reshape and reinvigorate Scotland’s supply chain.
Last year, the West of Orkney Windfarm secured the development rights to an area of seabed from Crown Estate Scotland in the highly competitive ScotWind leasing process to bring forward an offshore windfarm 30km west of the Orkney Mainland and 25km north of the Sutherland coast.
The project will have up to 125 turbines on fixed foundations, an expected capacity of around two gigawatts and aims to deliver first power in 2029. It is being developed by TotalEnergies together with our joint venture partners Corio Generation and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG).
The West of Orkney Windfarm is the first ScotWind project to have applied for consent, having achieved this milestone only 20 months after being awarded the site.
Development Manager Jack Farnham said: “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.
“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,” Farnham says.
The submission includes applications for consent under the Electricity Act 1989 and marine licence applications under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Accompanying these is an extensive suite of assessments based on survey data collected over two and a half years.
The application’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report has been managed through Xodus Group’s Stromness office and draws on the collective expertise and passion of 30 specialist subcontractors who have been instrumental in conducting extensive and thorough assessments of the environmental impact and proposing measures to avoid, reduce, monitor and manage potential challenges, where necessary.
“We believe these applications underscore our commitment to delivering a project to the very highest environmental standards,” Farnham says.
“Securing consent is a critical milestone in unlocking the significant inward investment this ambitious project will generate, and bringing economic and social benefits to the communities in which we will operate.
“The full application will be available in several public locations, and on our web site and I would encourage as many people as possible to view and comment on our proposal,” Farnham concludes.
Any representations should be made in writing to Scottish Ministers by email to: [email protected]
or by post to: The Scottish Government, Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, identifying the proposed development and specifying the grounds for the representation, not later than 20th November 2023.
All documentation and details of public locations can be accessed via the West of Orkney Windfarm web site here: www.westoforkney.com/planning_and_consent
The West of Orkney Windfarm will also submit a planning application for the onshore works to The Highland Council later this year.