The biggest offshore wind farm in the world is on the verge of being built off the northern Scottish coast. Once built, it will be capable of powering 40% of the homes in Scotland.
For a price of £4.5 billion, the complex located off Caithness will contain 339 turbines covering a total of 300 square kilometres, and have a generation capacity of 1.5 gigawatts. That will make it 50% larger than the London Array located off Kent.
“The renewable industry has hailed it as a watershed moment but warned these new deep water farms might only be fully realised if the government provides policy stability by pushing through its proposed Energy Bill.”
The wind farm is being put together by Moray Offshore Renewables, which is a joint venture between the Spanish oil company Repsol, and part of the Portuguese power group EDP.
“We estimate that the project will be capable of supplying the electricity needs of 800,000 to 1m households … Each year this development could save between 3.5m and 4.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide compared with coal fired generation, and between 1.5m and 2m tonnes of carbon dioxide compared with gas fired generation,” Dan Finch, the project manager is quoted as saying.
Plans for an additional 4.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy are expected to enter into the development process this year, with a total of 18 gigawatts planned to become operational during the next eight years.
“The Moray Firth wind farm, which will be given significant subsidies, compares with the 1-gigawatt at the London Array, which is currently in the construction phase, and compares with the largest British coal-fired plant, Drax in northern Yorkshire of 4 gigawatts, and the planned new EDF nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset with a combined output of 3.2 gigawatts and a bill of at least £10bn.”