In wake of Maine pullout, Statoil reaches ‘milestone’ in Scotland offshore wind project

Posted Nov. 25, 2013, at 12:16 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 25, 2013, at 12:38 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Statoil, the Norwegian company that recently pulled the plug on its $120 million offshore wind farm project in Maine, has reached a significant milestone in its plan to build a similar project in Scotland.

The multinational oil and gas company has received a lease to install five six-megawatt floating wind turbines off the coast of northeastern Scotland, according to a news release issued Friday by The Crown Estate, which manages property owned by the British crown, including the seabed.

“The Crown Estate and Statoil have been working together closely over the past two years to progress this project, which will further enhance the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology development,” the release states.

If built, the 30-megawatt Hywind Scotland Pilot Park would be the largest floating wind power project in Europe, and one of the largest announced worldwide, the release said. The company is now working to secure the necessary approvals from the Scottish government.

“This is a significant milestone for the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park,” Siri Espedal Kindem, Statoil’s senior vice president for renewable energy, said in a statement. “We look forward to a progressed dialogue with key stakeholders in Scotland including communities, the local supply chain and the authorities.”

Statoil in mid-October announced its intention to end the Hywind Maine pilot project it was pursuing in Maine, citing uncertainty over state regulations caused by the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s reopening of an already-completed bid process to allow the University of Maine to compete with Statoil for ratepayer support.

Statoil was pursuing the Scotland project in parallel with its project in Maine, a company spokesman told the Bangor Daily News last month.

The Hywind Scotland project is bigger than the proposed Hywind Maine project, which called for four three-megawatt turbines of the coast of Boothbay Harbor.

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