A new £325 million biomass power station at Rosyth – which will create 500 new jobs in the construction work and sustain 70 new operations jobs when up and running – has been given the green light by the Scottish Government.
And in another boost for Scotland’s renewables energy sector, Finance Minister John Swinney, MSP, has also given the thumbs-up to a 20-turbine wind farm development at Moy, near Inverness.
The Moy wind farm, which represents a £65 million investment by developer Eneco Wind UK Ltd, will have 20 turbines with a generating capacity of up to 66MW. It could power the equivalent of approximately 31,000 homes in the area.
The Rosyth plant, a £325 million investment by Forth Energy, would provide low carbon energy to the local area, and the equivalent of over 40% of the Fife Council area’s electricity needs would be met by the development.
Both projects would lead to the creation of a significant number of jobs, with the Rosyth plant bringing up to 500 jobs to the area during construction, and 70 operational jobs based at the port. Forth Energy estimates the project will deliver £26 million of annual economic benefit per year to the area.
There will be up to 60 workers employed at the Moy wind farm during construction, and the development will also provide approximately £7.5 million towards community benefit projects over 25 years.
Granting consent for the Moy wind farm, John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance,The Moy wind farm will create a significant number of jobs, as well as generating power for many thousands of homes.
“Projects like this provide considerable benefits to the local community, and play an important part in helping Scotland reach its target of 100% of electricity demand generated from renewables.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of renewables projects should reflect the scale and character of the landscape, as well as being considered environmentally acceptable.”
Consenting the Rosyth biomass plant, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The combined heat and power plant at the Port of Rosyth will create hundreds of jobs during its construction, and while in operation will continue to support local employment while generating renewable power for local business and industry.”
Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, commented: “This is great news for the renewables industry in Scotland – and particularly for the growing renewable heat sector. Biomass can play an important role in Scotland’s energy mix and combined heat and power plants like Rosyth will help to meet our renewable energy targets as well as reducing carbon emissions.
“News that the project will provide around 70 operational jobs during its lifetime, and up to 500 during the construction phase, are also welcome, and will add to the 11,695 people already in full-time employment in the industry in Scotland.”
* The Scottish Government has determined 91 energy applications, including consent for 60 renewable applications: 35 onshore wind, one offshore wind, 19 hydro, four wave and tidal and three Renewable Thermal Plants, and 19 non-renewable projects since May 2007. The Scottish Government has previously rejected 10 energy applications since May 2007, all of which were onshore wind farms