Thistle Wind Partners (TWP) has passed a planning milestone for its Ayre Offshore Wind farm, submitting the onshore scoping report to Highland Council.
The company said the onshore scoping report outlines the onshore infrastructure needed for the project and the approach to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The reports will support TWP’s submission for Planning Permission in Principle for the Ayre project, targeted for early 2025.
Located east of Orkney, the 1GW floating wind farm will connect to the grid via underground cables at Caithness, near the village of Spittal, with a landfall point at Sinclair’s Bay.
TWP said it began community engagement in the region last year through a series of community and supply chain events in Caithness and neighbouring Orkney.
TWP said the submission is the first in of a “series of consenting milestones” for the company’s two ScotWind projects in 2024, with the offshore scoping report due to be submitted in spring.
Meanwhile, TWP said it plans to submit both its onshore and offshore reports for its 1GW fixed-foundation Bowdun Offshore Wind Farm in the summer.
The Bowdun project is located off the coast of Aberdeenshire.
TWP project director Ian Taylor said the two wind farms remain on track despite facing a series of challenges over the course of 2023.
“We have navigated a way through these difficult times in the offshore wind sector thanks to active collaboration with the group of ScotWind developers and government agencies,” he said.
“The way we have pulled together in 2023 is breaking new ground for the energy sector and gives us great confidence in the future.”
Edinburgh-based TWP is a joint venture between Belgian firms Deme Group and Aspiravi and French company Qair.