The Scottish government has “called in” plans for a new substation in East Lothian that will be the onshore part of the 784-MW Inch Cape wind project off the coast of Angus.
Scottish Ministers last week intervened in the approval process for the proposed substation and related infrastructure at the site of the former Cockenzie power station, saying "it is considered that the application raises matters which are potentially of national importance in the context of expectations set out in National Planning Framework 3". The site, itself, was bought by East Lothian Council in March.
Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL) is owned by Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power, which is in turn owned by China's State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC). The developer was previously granted planning permission in principle to build the onshore substation for the wind park at the site on the Battle of Prestonpans but later filed a new proposal, moving the substation closer to the shore.
The Scottish government's move, which coincided with a visit to China of the first minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been heavily criticised locally, according to media reports. Edinburgh Evening News cited Prestonpans Community Councillor Brian Weddell as saying that if the substation plan is approved it would ruin plans for a cruise terminal or other job-creating projects at the site.
The Scottish government's decision on the particular application will be final.
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.