Hundreds of millions of pounds of investment poured into the development of three proposed Scottish offshore wind farms over the last decade is at risk because of continuing delays in securing vital government subsidies. Years of planning has so far gone into five massive multi-billion pound wind farms planned for Scotland’s east coast. But only two of the windfarms – the 664MW Beatrice project and the 448MW Neart Na Gaoithe project – have so far been successful in bidding for valuable government subsidies, which make projects commercially viable by guaranteeing the price at which electricity is sold for a 15-year period. In the last Contracts for Difference (CfD) bidding auction held in 2014 the three other windfarms (Seagreen, Inch Cape and Moray Offshore) were unsucc essful and, since the Conservatives returned to power last May, no further auctions have been held. Michael Brown, chief accountant of the 1116MW Moray Offshore project, told the Sunday Herald that £90 million has so far been spent by Portuguese developer EDP Renewables on project development costs and that at least one potential investor had withdrawn because of the extended funding uncertainty. Since failing to obtain a subsidy contract in 2014, Brown said, the company has had to maintain an Edinburgh office employing 40 people “who are doing pretty much zero at the moment as the project is on hold”. “We are having to spend several million pounds a year just to stand still,” he said.
Sunday Herald 31st Jan 2016 read more »