INVESTORS behind plans to develop a giant floating wind farm off Caithness have highlighted the benefits it is expected to generate for the local economy.

The partners in the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm Project have noted the potential for Scrabster Harbour in Thurso to play an important supporting role in the development and operation of the facility.

This is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world when it comes into operation, which is scheduled for 2026. The wind farm is expected to be able to generate enough energy for around 70,000 homes.

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Scrabster is said to be ideally positioned to support the Pentland project throughout its lifetime.

Project director Richard Copeland noted: “Providing Operations and Maintenance for offshore wind brings long-term, high value jobs and wider economic and social benefits.”

The partners in the windfarm project have agreed to work with Scrabster Harbour Trust on the development of operations and maintenance (O&M) requirements, services, and facilities.

The Herald: Picture: Pentland Floating Offshore Wind FarmPicture: Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm

The agreement provides a vote of confidence in Scrabster Harbour, which hopes to capitalise on a process that could result in a range of windfarms being developed off northern Scotland. Firms that submitted bids for acreage in the landmark ScotWind leasing round plan to develop floating windfarms in the area.

The Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners business is the lead investor in the Pentland Floating Offshore Windfarm project.

It teamed up with Scottish energy giant SSE and Japanese conglomerate Marubeni to bid in the recent ScotWind round. It is expected the results of the auction will be announced next year. 

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Separately, SSE said it had completed a key stage in the development of what is set to become the biggest windfarm fixed to the seabed off Scotland. The Perth-based firm said it has installed the giant jacket which will support the substation on the Seagreen windfarm off Angus.

This will be used to gather power generated by the 114 turbines on the windfarm for onward transmission.

SSE said Seagreen is scheduled for completion in late 2022/early 2023.