Another major hurdle towards the creation of a massive offshore wind farm on the Moray Firth has been completed with Scottish Government approval for the development.
Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd had already gained planning permission for three new wind farms with a total of 186 turbines to operate 14 miles off the Caithness coastline.
Now the company has been granted a marine licence for the construction and operation of the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl wind farms which between them are expected to generate 372MW of power – sufficient to supply 700,000 homes.
[box] Harbours along the coastline – including Buckie – will be watching closely with an economic boost expected…[/box] Now harbours along the coastline – including Buckie – will be watching closely with an economic boost expected to follow to service the turbines and onshore facilities for cabling and substations which are already progressing through planning stages.
Ardersier has already secured the full backing of the Scottish Government to be converted from an oil fabrication yard to a ‘super hub’ for offshore wind farms. However, other ports are expected to benefit from further contracts connected to the new offshore facilities.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has the potential to lead the development of an exciting, new renewables industry as offshore wind moves into deeper waters.
“Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland; an opportunity to build up new industries and to deliver on our ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.
“The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential inward investment of £30billion and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs, generating up to £7.1billion for the Scottish economy.”
The Scottish Government has set a target of generating at least half of Scotland’s electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2020.