August 23 (Renewables Now) - The company behind the Inch Cape offshore wind project in Scotland has filed new applications for consent and marine licences for an alternative design of the wind farm with no more than 72 turbines.
Inch Cape was consented in 2014, but progress was hampered by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland, which engaged in a prolonged legal battle to stop four offshore wind projects in the Forth and Tay region. Back when it got development consent, the wind farm’s capacity was expected to be 784 MW with up to 110 turbines. Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL) has cut the maximum turbine number in the latest application as it can take advantage of technological progress in the offshore wind industry.
ICOL is owned by Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power, which is in turn owned by China’s SDIC Power Holdings (SHA:600886).
It was announced earlier this summer that the developer of the Seagreen Alpha and Seagreen Bravo in Scotland is also eyeing bigger turbines, of up to 15 MW actually. These two projects are also planned for the Firth of Forth offshore wind zone and were approved together with Inch Cape and the Neart na Gaoithe schemes in 2014.
Inch Cape in July launched geophysical and geotechnical surveys on the 150-sq-km proposed site, 15 km off the Angus coast. These will be concluded in October.
“The offshore site investigation is a key step forward for the ICOL project. It will help us further understand the local conditions and inform the design of the wind farm as it progresses,” said project manager Ian Johnson.