Sector welcomes “new chapter” for the country’s renewables industry

Scottish ministers have hailed the “huge potential” of floating offshore wind after approving plans for a new development off the Aberdeenshire coast.

The Scottish government granted planning application yesterday to a development by Kincardine Offshore Windfarm to situate a floating wind farm in waters around 15 km south east of the city.

Once operational, the wind farm will have a maximum capacity of 50MW, enough to power up to 56,000 homes.

The Scottish minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said the new wind farm will “cement” Scotland’s place “as one of the world’s leading nations in the innovation and deployment of floating offshore wind”.

“If the technology can be demonstrated at scale, it has huge potential to help Scotland meet its energy needs to and to develop a supply chain that can service opportunities elsewhere in Europe and in markets such as South East Asia and North America,” insisted Wheelhouse.

Scottish Renewables’ senior policy manager, Lindsay Roberts, said projects like the Kincardine floating wind farm are “part of a new chapter for our renewable energy industry”.

“The Scottish government has shown its ambition to generate the equivalent of half of all energy consumed from renewable source by 2030 and offshore wind can play a key role in meeting that ambition,” added Roberts.

While WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the continued development of floating turbines in Scotland is “encouraging” as “it could enable us and other nations to secure even more clean power from offshore wind”.

Prospects for floating wind farms around the UK have recieved heightened attention this year. In January, there were calls to “ring-fence” subsidies for floating offshore wind schemes in order to ensure the technology reaches its full potential.

Also in January, the Energy Technologies Institute said that development of floating windfarms is essential for further cost reductions in offshore wind.