European renewable developers EDP Renewables and Repsol have submitted plans for three offshore wind projects in the Moray Firth off the north east coast of Scotland totaling 1.5 GW in capacity.
The Telford, Stevenson and McColl projects, which would generate enough power for between 800,000 and 1 million homes, are part of The Crown Estate’s Round Three leases, which could see some 18 GW of wind capacity come online over the next eight years.
The £4.5 billion projects will be developed by EDP Renewables and Repsol’s joint venture, Moray Offshore Renewables.
The wind and marine energy industries’ trade body, RenewableUK, expects a further 4.5 GW of potential offshore wind capacity to enter the planning application stage this year.
RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, says the development is a “watershed moment”.
“A timely consent for Moray Offshore Renewables could lead to other significant milestones being achieved early in the Round Three process, such as commencing construction and generating electricity in 2016,” she adds.
But McCaffery warns that the timescales for such projects are so long that policy certainty, in the form of the government’s flagship Energy Bill, is needed urgently to ensure that progress continues.
The projects have also attracted high-profile criticism from US business tycoon Donald Trump over the possible aesthetic and environmental impact of the turbines.
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05 September 2012