Scotland okays redesigned Inch Cape offshore wind farm

Offshore wind. Source: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

June 19 (Renewables Now) - The developer of the Inch Cape offshore wind project in Scotland has secured government consent for its revised design of the park, consisting of up to 72 turbines with a combined capacity of 700 MW.

The original proposal called for the installation of up 110 turbines totalling 748 MW.

Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL), owned by Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power, in August 2018 presented an alternative plan for the wind farm with fewer but taller and more powerful turbines and fewer export cables. On announcing the government’s decision on Tuesday, the developer noted that the new design will reduce the construction time and costs, and also the environmental impact of the project. At the same time it “significantly” improves the efficiency of the wind farm.

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.

The new permit comes just as the project is preparing to compete in the upcoming UK government Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction later this month.

ICOL is meanwhile conducting a second phase of offshore site investigations in the Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth. The activities include geotechnical and geophysical studies that will provide an update on the detailed design of the project. The developer is also finalising an assessment for a suitable port site where it will locate an operations and maintenance base for the wind farm.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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