Scottish renewable w-industry in dismay as bird charity raises legal challenge to offshore wind farm plans by SSE, Mainstream and Repsol

SSE logoThe RSPB has mounted a legal challenge to Scottish government consent for four offshore wind farms totalling 2284MW in the outer Forth and Tay estuaries – its first such move in 10 years.

The bird charity is seeking a judicial review in the Court of Session over permission granted last year by the Scottish Government to the following wind farms – which comprise around 400 wind turbines: –

  • Mainstream’s 450MW Neart na Gaoithe
  • Repsol and EDP’s 784MW Inch Cape, and
  • SSE and Fluor’s 525MW Seagreen Alpha and 525MW Seagreen Bravo.

 If developed, these wind farms could generate enough electricity for 1.4 million homes every year.

The RSPB said in a statement: “These decisions raise important questions about how the laws that are designed to protect our country’s most important places for wildlife, and the birds that depend on them, are applied.

 “If these decisions are allowed to stand, they could have serious implications for how birds and important wildlife sites are protected across Scotland and beyond.

“The vast majority of renewable energy developments pose no significant threat to birds or other wildlife,” he said.

“RSPB Scotland continues to support the development of carefully sited and designed renewables including offshore wind. However individual developments must be sited to avoid significant harm.”

The move by the RSPB has dismayed Scotland’s renewables industry. Several of these Big Wind developers have Board-seats on the w-industry trade association in Scotland.

One commentator said last night: “The irony here is that climate change is reckoned to be one of the biggest threats to Scotland’s protected habitats and species.

“Offshore wind is a key part of the mix required for us to meet our targets for the growth of renewables and the reduction of carbon emissions.”

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