Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, announced on Wednesday the formal consent for two adjacent offshore wind farm applications to be located in the outer Moray Firth, which will combine to be the world’s third largest offshore wind farm with up to 326 wind turbines.
“Scotland has the potential to lead the development of an exciting, new renewables industry as offshore wind moves into deeper waters,” said Mr Ewing on Wednesday. “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 Moray Offshore Renewables Limited (MORL) and the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) will be capable of generating up to 1,866 MW of clean electricity, and are set to be located off the Caithness coast. With enough energy to power over one million Scottish homes, the project is set to be worth £2.5 billion to the Scottish economy.
“These wind farms alone could generate gross value worth up to £2.5 billion over their lifetime and generate up to 4,600 jobs during peak construction and up to 580 once in operation,” Mr Ewing added.
“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 £30 billion and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs, generating up to £7.1 billion for the Scottish economy. As this industry develops, our enterprise agencies are working to secure supply chain development for Scotland.”
Unsurprisingly, given the need for environmental protection, the applications were granted consent under strict guidelines which are set to mitigate and monitor a range of potential impacts the offshore farm might have on the local ecosystem.
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