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Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm developer Copenhagen Offshore Partners needs larger site at Dounreay and Vulcan for proposed 100MW Caithness scheme


By John Davidson

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Seven turbines are planned for the offshore site near Dounreay.
Seven turbines are planned for the offshore site near Dounreay.

A larger site close to the Dounreay and Vulcan sites will be needed as part of plans to develop a 100MW offshore wind farm off the Caithness coast.

The Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is expected to be built around 6km off the shore at Dounreay and will consist of seven turbines up to 300 metres high to blade tip.

Copenhagen Offshore Partners, the operator behind the venture, has submitted a pre-application notice (PAN) to Highland Council for the onshore infrastructure related to the development.

The applicant had already submitted a PAN to Highland Council in 2021, but has now provided the new plans requesting a larger site.

It intends to submit an application for consent to build the turbines under the Electricity Act at the same time as a full planning application for the related onshore development.

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The onshore aspects include a cable landfall; a joint cable transition bay where the onshore and offshore cables are spliced together; onshore buried cabling; and a substation/switchgear to include transformers, harmonic filter reactive compensation devices, protective equipment, batteries and auxiliary equipment to be housed within a building and enclosed by a fenced compound.

The proposed site includes parts of the Sandside Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Knock Urray broch, and is close to the North Caithness Cliff Special Area of Conservation.

The site for the onshore development lies to the west of the former Dounreay nuclear plant.
The site for the onshore development lies to the west of the former Dounreay nuclear plant.

If approved, the offshore wind farm could power up to 70,000 homes.

Highland Council’s north planning committee will review the notice at its meeting on Wednesday, when councillors will be invited to note the PAN ahead of a full planning application expected to follow later this year.

Copenhagen Offshore Partners intends to run an online consultation from August 29 to September 19, with live question-and-answer sessions on September 1. It says the design team will be able to take questions by telephone to accommodate those who are not able to access the internet.


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