Plans to build four large wind farms off the coast of Scotland to provide power for 1.4m homes took a significant step forward on Tuesday, after a judge overturned a decision to block the developments. Wildlife charity RSPB Scotland had succeeded in challenging planning permission for the projects, which it says could be among the “most deadly wind farms for birds anywhere in the world”, winning a legal case in July last year. The charity argued the schemes, which could collectively generate up to 2.3 gigawatts of power, threatened to kill thousands of protected seabirds a year, including puffins, gannets and kittiwakes. All four projects are in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay, on Scotland’s east coast. But the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday handed down a ruling in support of the Scottish government, which awarded planning permission for the developments in October 2014 and had appealed against the decision in favour of the RSPB. Mainstream Renewable Power, the Irish energy company that is behind the most advanced of the four projects — called Neart na Gaoithe — said the decision was a “major step forward”. “This £2bn project is capable of supplying all the homes in a city the size of Edinburgh with clean energy,” said David Sweenie, the company’s offshore manager for Scotland. “Neart na Gaoithe will help Scotland and the UK meet their climate and energy goals, and develop a world-leading offshore wind sector.” The 450 megawatt wind farm will have 64 turbines RSPB Scotland has not yet decided its next steps but could seek to take the case to the UK Supreme Court.
FT 16th May 2017 read more »
Energy Voice 17th May 2017 read more »
BBC 16th May 2017 read more »
Times 17th May 2017 read more »
The planet’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast, cementing Britain’s reputation as a world leader in the technology. Danish company Dong Energy has just finished installing 32 turbines in Liverpool Bay that are taller than the Gherkin skyscraper, with blades longer than nine London buses. Dong Energy, the windfarm’s developer, believes these machines herald the future for offshore wind power: bigger, better and, most importantly, cheaper. Each of the 195m-tall turbines in the Burbo Bank extension has more than twice the power capacity of those in the neighbouring Burbo Bank windfarm completed a decade ago. “That shows you something about the scale-up of the industry, the scale-up of the technology,” said Benjamin Sykes, the country manager for Dong Energy UK.
Guardian 17th May 2017 read more »
The wind developer behind the world’s largest working wind turbines has said the size of its giant offshore blades, currently in UK waters, will double again within seven years. Dong Energy will officially open the second phase of its giant Burbo Bank offshore wind farm off the coast of Merseyside coast later today by showcasing its 8MW turbines, the largest ever used. The 258MW Burbo Bank project includes 32 turbines which stand almost 640 feet high, taller than the Gherkin in London, across an area the size of 5824 football pitches.
Telegraph 17th May 2017 read more »