Flotation Energy is consulting on potential onshore cable routes that would link its proposed Green Volt floating wind farm with the National Grid, making landfall at Peterhead.
Public meetings will be held over the coming weeks to discuss onshore elements of the proposed floating wind farm in the outer Moray Firth, with two potential export cable routes mooted either north or south of Peterhead.
Plans outlined last year would see up 30-35 floating turbines anchored at a brownfield site, previously host to the Ettrick and Blackbird oil field, 46 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast.
Power from the 300-500MW wind farm would then be used to help decarbonise offshore oil and gas operations, potentially including the UK’s highest producing oil field, Buzzard.
Development could eventually see up to 500MW of generating capacity installed and operational at the site, supplying power to both oil and gas installations and the UK grid.
Flotation says the onshore works will consist of up to 22 miles of buried export cables and a new substation near New Deer in Aberdeenshire. The latter will lie around 4 miles southwest of the village next to existing power infrastructure.
The Edinburgh-headquartered developer previously spearheaded the 50-MW Kincardine floating wind farm near Aberdeen and is now working on the Green Volt scheme in partnership with Vårgrønn – a Norwegian wind developer backed by private equity firm HitecVision and oil and gas major Eni.
Together the two said they had applied for two targeted leases as part of the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) round, the results of which are expected around April this year.
A final investment decision on Green Volt is eyed for the end of 2024, with operations commencing in 2027.
An initial online event took place on Monday evening, while the first public meetings will be held on Wednesday evening at St Kane’s Parish Church Hall in New Deer, with subsequent sessions on 26 January and 2 March at Longside Parish Church in Longside.
Flotation said its project team and agent Green Cat Renewables would be in attendance to answer community questions about the project.
Electrification at Buzzard
In late 2021 Flotation formed a joint venture company, Green Volt Offshore Windfarm Ltd, with oil and gas operator CNOOC Petroleum Europe to scope out initial plans for the site, with a particular focus on supplying power to the Buzzard platform.
However, the Chinese operator has reportedly been eyeing an exit from North Sea operations as it adjusts its international portfolio.
Asked whether CNOOC was still involved in the venture, a spokesperson for Green Volt said: “Green Volt is being developed by joint venture partners Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn.
“Our partnership will accommodate a number of oil and gas assets, in the vicinity of our windfarm, with a view to providing them with a source of low carbon electricity.
“It would not be appropriate to comment on individual assets at this time.”
CNOOC operates Buzzard with a 43.21% equity share, alongside Suncor Energy UK (29.89%), Harbour Energy (21.73%) and One-Dyas UK (5.16%).
The platform uses a power generation system for oil and gas processing, a gas lift system, water injection system and essential utilities, with a constant demand of around 70 MW.
By replacing this system with power from wind while providing surplus power to the onshore grid, Green Volt said it could help mitigate up to 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.