Green Volt, at 560MW expected by 2029 to be the world’s largest collection of floating wind turbines, bobbed up today with planners’ final blessings.

A joint venture of Flotation Energy the Japanese-owned developers and Vårgrønn, the project will comprise 35 towers, buoyed up on collars, pictured, and floating off Scotland’s east coast in waters up to 1,000 metres deep.

Aberdeenshire planners earlier this month gave planning consent for the project’s onshore elements.

Further calming the waters around Green Volt, it is now consented as the first project in the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.  The nod completes the venture’s round of necessary approvals.

Its backers say it remains on track to be the first commercial-scale floating offshore farm in Europe.

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf enthused: “It is fantastic to have received the green light to deliver Green Volt as the world’s biggest floating offshore wind project, right here in the Scottish North Sea.

“Gaining consent just over a year after our seabed exclusivity was awarded is a testament to the commitment, speed and determination of our Green Volt team, the Scottish Government and its key agencies.

Carrying coals both metaphorical & ironic to Newcastle, Green Volt foresees N Sea oil & gas platforms among its first customers, as their operators seek to replace existing gas and diesel generation.  Power injection direct into Britain’s transmission grid will also feature.

Led by Lord Nicol Stephen & Allan MacAskill, Flotation Energy’s origins take in the 50MW floating Kincardine farm, which began generating off the Aberdeenshire coast in 2014.

Japan’s No2 energy retailer TEPCO bought Edinburgh-based Flotation Energy in November 2022 for an undisclosed sum.   As main power supplier to Tokyo & eastern Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company‘s name will forever be linked with the March 2011 nuclear explosion at Fukushima.

Oslo-incorporated Vårgrønn is itself a joint venture of Eni-offshoot developer Plenitude and HitecVision, the Norwegian energy entrepreneur & investor.

Vårgrønn’s CEO Olav Hetland said: “Consent for the Green Volt under INTOG is a massive boost for Scotland’s ambition to be a global leader in floating wind.

“This decision will unlock around £3 billion of investment”, Hetland went on, “generating  hundreds of jobs. Crucially, it also sends a huge signal to domestic & international investors that Scotland is indeed a pioneer in this technology and the ideal location to manufacture and deliver floating wind”.

Vårgrønn – “spring green” is a rough translation – holds 20% of Dogger Bank, at 4GW the world’s largest rooted windfarm now under construction. By 2030, the Norwegian entity targets at least 5GW of offshore wind in operation or sanctioned across northern Europe, featuring both rooted and floating turbines.

Green Volt incorporates local content evaluation as a key part of its procurement evaluation criteria, maximising opportunities for suppliers in Scotland and elsewhere in Britain.

Analysts predict the market for global floating offshore generation could reach 300GW by the 2050s.


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