The proposed Buchan Floating Offshore Wind Farm will be located off the coast of Scotland. (Credit: Buchan Offshore Wind)
The wind farm will have up to 70 wind turbines. (Credit: Buchan Offshore Wind)
A Floating LiDAR buoy deployed at the site. (Credit: Buchan Offshore Wind)

The Buchan Floating Offshore Wind Farm is a proposed wind project with a production capacity of up to 1GW. It will be located 75km northeast of Fraserburgh on the Aberdeenshire Coast of Scotland.

The wind farm will be developed by Buchan Offshore Wind, a joint venture of BW Ideol, Elicio, and BayWa r.e.

The partners participated in the Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing round as Floating Energy Allyance. It secured the rights to develop the floating offshore wind farm in January 2022.

The partners signed the Collaborative Framework Charter of the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) in May 2022.

The Offshore Scoping Report for the wind farm was submitted to the Marine Directorate of the Scottish Government in October 2023.

The construction of offshore components of the project is expected to commence around 2028, with estimated construction period of 3-5 years. It will be followed by the operations and maintenance (O&M) phase.

Buchan Wind Farm Location

The Buchan Floating Offshore Wind Farm is proposed to be located offshore Scotland in the UK.

The wind farm will be situated in an Option Area (OA) awarded to the developer by the ScotWind leasing process, covering 330km2.

Buchan Floating Offshore Wind Farm Details

The Buchan Floating Offshore Wind Farm is expected to have up to 70 Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs), each with a rotor diameter of 236m to 310m and a maximum tip height of 355m. The WTGs will have a hub height of 148m to 185m.

The WTGs will be installed on floating foundations moored to the seabed through an anticipated catenary mooring system. The foundations will have above water hull length of up to 70m.

A maximum of nine anchors will be used for each floating foundation to provide flexibility. Suction piles, drilled piles, driven piles, and drag embedment type anchors are in consideration.

The electricity produced by the WTGs will be transferred further and to the onshore substation via Alternating Current (AC) inter-array cables of 66kV to 132kV voltage. These will be buried to a depth of up to 2m.

The WTGs will deliver electricity to the offshore substation platforms which will convert it to a higher voltage. Up to three offshore substation platforms will be needed, as proposed in the Scoping Report.

The offshore substations will be supported by foundations of driven piles, drilled piles, or suction pile types. These substations will be connected by interconnector cables which will deliver the electricity to the export or transmission system.

If HVDC is selected, out of three substations only one will be of HVDC type.

From offshore, power will be transferred to the onshore transmission facilities by up to three offshore export cables of HVAC (220kV to 275kV) or HVDC (400kV to 525kV) type.

If an HVAC system is used for the transfer of power over long distances to balance the real and the reactive power, an Intermediate Reactive Compensation (IRC) platform of HVAC type is anticipated to be installed.

The IRC must be located approximately in between the offshore substation platforms and the onshore grid connection point. The final location has not been decided yet.

The offshore export cables will connect the offshore and onshore transmission cables at the Transition Joint Bay (TJB), the landfall location.

The onshore export cables will connect the landfall to the grid connection point thus, becoming a part of the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS).

Contractors Involved

In July 2023, Natural Power, a renewable energy consultant and service provider, was appointed to lead the onshore development and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project.

UK-based Copper Consultancy will support onshore and offshore consultation and stakeholder engagement, and Blackhall & Powis will be responsible for property support.

A floating LiDAR buoy (EOLOS FLS200) was delivered and installed at the project site by Glasgow-based metocean specialists Partrac. The LiDAR buoy was deployed to measure wind, metocean and environmental conditions in supporting the design and assessment of Buchan Offshore Wind project.

Ocean Infinity, a company which provides seabed data acquisition technologies for seabed surveys, was selected by the Floating Energy Allyance to conduct initial geophysical and geotechnical site investigation at the project site in February 2023.