January 8 (Renewables Now) - A pilot offshore wind project in Scotland, which is to use eight two-bladed turbines, will be examined in detail by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland, the Courier reports on Monday.
The Forthwind Offshore Wind Demonstration Project will be located off Methil in Fife, Scotland. Developer Forthwind, a wholly owned subsidiary of 2-B Energy, signed a lease agreement for the project with The Crown Estate, the body managing the UK seabed, in 2014. The company in January 2017 got the Scottish government's nod to install two turbines with a combined capacity of 18 MW, and it will seek approval for six more.
According to the report, the conservation charity fears that the proposed turbines could affect nearshore bird species in the area and it could not rule out a potential legal challenge. Charles Nathan, RSPB marine conservation planner, told the newspaper that the impact of the proposed development is being considered together with the cumulative effects of four larger wind projects in the firths of Tay and Forth that have already been approved.
An application for the additional six turbines is due to be submitted later this year, Marc Murray, project manager at 2-B Energy, was cited as saying. He noted that the company has already reduced the number of turbines in the expanded project from nine to eight in order to lower the impact on nearshore bird colonies.
RSPB Scotland has already delayed Mainstream Renewable Power’s 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe project, one of four wind farms in the firths of Tay and Forth, whose approval was attacked by the conservation charity. Its fight against these projects was blocked by the Supreme Court in November 2017.