Progress looks likely for Statoil’s ambitions to install up to five Hywind floating platforms mounted with turbines, off Scotland’s north-east coast. The Scottish Government and the Crown Estate are working towards facilitating Statoil’s plans.
Statoil has requested an extension to the exclusive rights it holds, over an area of deep water off Peterhead. The Crown Estate is proposing to extend exclusivity until 31 October.
This would allow Statoil "to complete additional surveys and studies before an application is made" for a lease, which would be needed for the project to go ahead, says the Crown Estate. Both parties believe an extension of just a few months would be sufficeint to allow the project to progress, a Crown Estate source told Windpower Offshore. A consultation on the extension is ongoing.
Statoil declined to comment in detail on the state of its Scottish project, but did confirm that it would "continue to mature" its Hywind pilots on both sides of the Atlantic. Its plan to test the Hywind concept off the coast of Maine has progressed in recent months. Statoil is also in the early stages of working with Japanese industrial group, Hitachi Zosen, about how the Hywind technology might be deployed off Japan.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has confirmed that it has completed consultation on a plan to "introduce a higher level of support under the Renewables Obligation for innovative offshore wind generation in Scottish waters". It is currently considering the responses.
It is also working on new guidance for sites suitable for testing deep water wind generation technology. It is hoped that such sites would eventually host commercial-scale projects.