Leases have been signed to speed installation of 1.8GW of floating turbines off the Shetland Islands, one of 24.8 GW of new developments – both embedded and floating – resulting from January’s Scotwind awards.

Renewables developers Mainstream and US concern Ocean Winds have plighted their commercial troths over the Arven floating farm, after signing a lease in July with Crown Estate Scotland.    Though floating, the turbines still require leases which bestow rights to exploit waves and winds above the ocean bed.

The Norwegian word for ‘legacy’ or ‘heritage’, the choice of Arven’ as the project’s name pays tribute to the Shetlands’ enduring Norse influences.

Arven Offshore wind farm, incorporated in London last month, boasts potential to meet the energy needs over 2 million homes, saving a claimed 3 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, while generating jobs and a supply chain in the islands & mainland.

Edinburgh-based Mainstream has already shared a joint venture with Ocean Winds in South Korea. The pair are joint-bidders with others in a consortium seeking leases for floating turbine projects at Utsira Nord in Norway.  Both have equity stakes in floating turbine technologists Principle Power.

Sian Lloyd-Rees, Mainstream’s UK country manager said: “We are thrilled to progress our plans for the Arven offshore farm.

“Supporting the UK government’s Net Zero ambitions, the wind farm is well placed to capitalise on Scotland’s offshore expertise and industry as we work with local partners to explore offtake opportunities.”

Arven brings Ocean Winds’ portfolio in Scotland alone to 6.1GW. The company already operates, is building or developing three offshore projects: the 950MW Moray East venture, 882MW at Moray West, and the 2GW Caledonia parc.  Its floating turbine experience includes advancing WindFloat Atlantic off Portugal.

Ten of the 17 successful 24.8GW Scotwind bids announced in January by Crown Estate Scotland specify floating turbines.  Leasing exploitation rights for 25 years covering 7,000 square kilometres of ocean, the world’s biggest offshore wind auction is estimated to yield £680 million for the Holyrood government.

Meanwhile, beneath Scapa Flow’s waves inshore of the Orkneys, marine turbine engineers  AWS Ocean Energy report ‘highly encouraging’ test results of their Waveswing submersible power buoy.

Output averaged 10kW during sub-surface trials in gentle seas close to the EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre), exceeding the engineers’ expectations by 20%.  Under Force 10 gales, generation peaked at 80kW.

AWS claim the Waveswing buoy can be deployed from shore to installed location in as little as 12 hours.  Its trials at EMEC are scheduled to end in December, and resume in the new year.

 These figures underline our strong belief that Waveswing is the real deal”, said Simon Grey, AWS’s CEO, pictured with the device.

“While we have always been confident about the performance potential of the Waveswing, it is wonderful to see that confidence endorsed by real data.”


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