A 450 megawatt Scottish offshore wind farm has been confirmed by the UK Department of Energy (DECC) as one of the first projects eligible to apply for the UK’s new renewable energy support scheme.
DECC said Mainstream Renewable Power’s Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm has cleared the eligibility threshold, enabling it to take forward its application to secure the CfD by April 2014.
The Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm – which will have between 70 and 90 turbines depending on which type of turbine is finally selected – is located in the outer Firth of Forth. Its closest point to land is about 10 milles off the coast of Fife.
Subject to planning permission – and the Ministry of Defence has withdrawn its initial objections – construction work is due to start in 2015 with the first electricity being supplied to the grid in 2017.
Mainstream Renewable Power is one of the world’s leading independent developers of renewable energy projects, with offices in Glasgow, Dublin, London, Chicago, Berlin and Toronto. Mainstream is developing just under 8GW of offshore wind projects in England, Scotland and Germany with 4.45GW of secured grid connection for these offshore projects.
Andy Kinsella, Mainstream’s Offshore Executive Director, said: “This is another significant step on the journey with the Scottish and UK governments. The next will be the issuing of the offshore planning determination. This announcement is a key driver in enabling Mainstream to reach financial close with the project in 2014 and to start construction in 2015.
“The Neart na Gaoithe project remains on track to be the first large-scale offshore wind farm deployed in Scottish waters and the first offshore wind farm in the UK to attract true non-recourse project finance at the construction stage. We look forward to continuing our work with DECC to secure an investment contract in early 2014.”
The wind farm, which will deliver 3.7% of Scotland’s electricity demand when fully operational, last month launched the North Sea’s first commercial floating LiDAR wind measurement device, which is capturing wind data at the site.