Offshore test side off the Aberdeen coast approved

Wednesday, 27 March, 2013 - 15:00

The Scottish Government announced consent for the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) at Aberdeen Bay. The development consists of 11 wind turbines and their connecting cables, sited between 2 and 4.5 km off the Aberdeenshire coast, capable of generating up to 100 MW.

The Centre, which is not a conventional wind farm, but an offshore deployment centre, will allow offshore wind developers and supply chain companies to test cutting edge wind technology in an offshore environment before commercial deployment. This will reduce development risks and capital costs by providing the opportunity to test real time reliability and capacity generation and will ultimately support the creation of jobs across the industry.

Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland. The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential generation of over £ 7 billion to Scotland’s economy and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.” And further: “My role was in determination of assessing the offshore elements of this development in relation to the Electricity Act consent. An application for a marine licence which is also required for the development is under consideration and will be determined in due course. There is another consent relating to the Blackdog sub-station development which is also required and is a matter for Aberdeenshire Council.”

The Applicant, Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd. (AOWFL), applied for consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) to Marine Scotland in August 2011. A two-stage formal public consultation process was undertaken. The first, conducted in August 2011, related to the original Electricity Act application, the marine licence application and supporting Environmental Statement.

The second related to the submission of additional environmental information in a Supplementary Environmental Information Statement. This was submitted to Marine Scotland in August 2012. It also included a number of revisions to the original proposal relating to the maximum height of the turbines, tip height of the front (landward) turbines, and placement of the larger turbines in the seaward rows.

AOWFL is an established legal entity owned by Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd (VWPL) (75 %) and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) (25 %). The project is being part-funded by a grant under the European Union (Economic Recovery Programme in the field of energy). Consortium members in this grant action are AOWFL, VWPL, AREG and Technip UK Ltd.

Katharina Garus

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