Government approval for Kincardine floating wind farm

kowlAn application to develop a floating wind farm off the coast of Aberdeenshire has been approved by Scottish Government ministers.

The green light has been given to Kincardine Offshore to build the world’s largest floating wind array, consisting of up to eight 6MW semi-submersible turbines, which will operate 15km off the coast of Kincardineshire.

The first turbine of the 50MW array is expected to be on site in the second quarter of 2018.

Director of the project, Carlos Barat, said: “This is a significant development not just for Kincardine Offshore, but for the offshore renewables sector in Scotland, the wider UK and across Europe.

“Through the Kincardine project we will open up new opportunities for other offshore floating wind developments. This will herald a new era allowing turbines to be installed in deeper waters further offshore.”

The development will support the creation of around 110 jobs during assembly, installation and through ongoing operations and maintenance activities. It will also prevent CO2 emissions of more than 94,500 tonnes per year.

Lord Nicol Stephen, a director of Kincardine Offshore, said: “Receiving consent is an important milestone for this project and will maintain Scotland’s position as a leading innovator in offshore renewables.

“We very much appreciate the strong support we have received throughout the development process from Scottish Enterprise and also The Crown Estate in Scotland.”

John Robertson, senior manager at The Crown Estate in Scotland, said: “As an active seabed manager which awards and manages rights for projects such as this, The Crown Estate works with partners to support offshore renewables.

“Our team has worked closely with Kincardine Offshore developers as they secured an Agreement for Lease with us and we are very excited to see this important project receive consent.”

Construction activities will start in the summer. Power will be brought ashore to an Aberdeen operations centre and will connect to the grid at Redmoss sub-station in summer 2018.

Welcoming the announcement, Lindsay Roberts, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland is home to approximately 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource and we are now starting to build out projects which will harness this potential.

“We’re also at the forefront of innovation in this exciting sector and projects like this one are part of a new chapter for our renewable energy industry.

“The Scottish Government has shown its ambition to generate the equivalent of half of all energy consumed from renewable sources by 2030 and offshore wind can play a key role in meeting that ambition.”

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, added: “The continued development of floating turbines in Scotland is encouraging as it could enable us and other nations to secure even more clean power from offshore wind. One thing is clear, if we are to meet our future climate and energy targets we will certainly need both more onshore and offshore wind in the future.

“With the right political support for offshore wind and other technologies, Scotland can remain on course to secure half of all its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.

“Research shows that generating half of our energy from renewables by 2030 is both necessary and achievable. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and others to make sure that the policies needed are put in place to deliver on this ambition.”

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