Four giant new wind farms set to create 13,000 jobs in major N. Sea developments

Wind farm offshore generic imageFour major new North Sea wind farms that could provide enough energy to power over 1.4 million Scottish homes have been given the go-ahead by Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

Once completed, the N. Sea developments off Fife, the Forth and Tay regions – Neart Na Gaoithe, Inch Cape Offshore Limited, Seagreen Alpha and Seagreen Bravo – could be capable of generating up to 2.284 GW of electricity.

The consents are granted subject to strict conditions which will mitigate and monitor a range of potential impacts including those in relation to birds and other environmental considerations.

It is estimated that these four developments combined will produce carbon savings estimated at 135 million tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Renewable energy is extremely valuable to Scotland’s economy, to reducing our carbon emissions and in providing low carbon energy supplies as well as jobs and long term investment.

“These wind farms alone could generate a combined gross value added of between £314 million and £1.2 billion in Scotland over their lifetime and generate between 2,567 and 13,612 jobs within Scotland during the construction period.

“Granting consent for these developments will enable them to bid for an offshore wind contract for difference (CfD) under the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform process.

“The budget for offshore wind (and other less established technologies) in the first of these rounds scheduled for autumn is £235 million, thought to be enough to support around 800 MW of offshore wind in UK waters.

“The level of support available to the offshore renewables sector sits in stark contrast to the unprecedented financial backing being provided elsewhere in the UK by the British government to new nuclear plants, with a possible £35 billion subsidy for the new Hinkley Point C station alone in addition to a £10 billion loan guarantee.

“This inevitably means that growth in green energy will be restricted – a sector where Scotland has a competitive advantage.”

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