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Next step for multi-billion-pound offshore Orkney wind farm

The proposal has been described as "critical" in hitting Scotland's offshore wind targets.

An offshore wind farm has received Orkney Islands Council support. Image: Neil Davidson
An offshore wind farm has received Orkney Islands Council support. Image: Neil Davidson

Plans for a multi-billion-pound offshore wind farm west of Orkney has secured the support of a council committee.

Orkney Island Council’s development and infrastructure committee has given its backing to the plans of West of Orkney Windfarm.

The council is a statutory consultee for Section 36 consent and marine licence applications for the proposal.

Plans for the wind farm have also been submitted to Scottish Ministers for consideration.

If approved, the new wind farm would be located about 19 miles west of mainland Orkney.

Council back West of Orkney Windfarm plans

The West of Orkney Windfarm will include 125 turbines on fixed foundations, with an expected capacity on two gigawatts (GW).

Development manager Jack Farnham said: “We have been working closely with the community and businesses in Orkney for a number of years.

“To ensure our ambitious project will bring positive, long-term benefits to Orkney, Caithness and Sutherland.

“We are extremely grateful to the officials and elected representatives of the council for their endorsement of our detailed plans.”

West of Orkney Windfarm development manager Jack Farnham. Image: Neil Davidson

Mr Farnham said securing approval from the Scottish Government and Highland Council are critical in meeting Scottish targets.

He added: “The Scottish Government has a stated ambition to deploy 8-11GW of offshore wind in Scottish waters by 2030.

“As the first ScotWind project to enter the planning process, securing timely offshore consent from the Scottish Government and onshore planning permission from the Highland Council will be critical if Scotland is to meet this target.

“Which will unlock significant inward investment and with it economic and social benefits to the far north.”

The final decision will be made by Scottish Ministers following recommendations by the marine directorate licensing operations team.

Comments made by statutory consultees, including Orkney Islands Council, will be taken into consideration.

Developers invest in north of Scotland

The plans are being developed by a joint venture which comprises of Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG).

The West of Orkney Windfarm has engaged in a £105 million investment initiative during the development phase.

This investment will drive skills development and create opportunities for businesses and organisations in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.

Flotta
The West of Orkney turbines could power a hydrogen “hub” on Flotta. Image: Neil Davidson

They developers have already supported a number of initiatives in the north of Scotland.

This includes a £1m research and development programme being led by EMEC in Orkney.

As well as a £900,000 education initiative led by UHI and a £125,000 Fit 4 Renewables scheme led by ORE Catapult.

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