Perth-based utility giant SSE has by-passed a local council and instead has appealed direct to the Scot-Govt for a two-year extension for the National Offshore Wind Turbine Test Facility in Ayrshire.
Planning consent for the facility at Hunterston in North Ayrshire is due to expire in October 2017.
SSE first submitted an application to extend the five-year life of the Hunterston site in January 2017 to facilitate completion of the test period and allow SSE to assist with the continued development of offshore wind technology in Scotland.
But, in light of the decision by North Ayrshire Cooncil to ‘repeatedly delay’ its decision, SSE Generation Ltd has now appealed direct to St. Andrew’s House.
Sean Kelly, Project Manager, SSE said: ““As the only functioning onshore test facility for offshore wind turbines in the UK, Hunterston has delivered a number of benefits for the industry and local community.
“We were disappointed with the decision of North Ayrshire Council to again delay the decision on a time extension for the Hunterston Test Facility, despite its own officials’ recommendation that the consent extension be approved.
“Our decision to submit an appeal to the Scottish Government is our only option to take the project forward given the time limit on the current consent.
“If successful this extension to the test site will allow us to assist with the continued development of offshore wind technology, as well as providing a local facility for training future offshore wind technicians.
“During the existing testing period the Hunterston facility has allowed the manufacturer to use the 6MW test machine to refine its 7MW turbine – which will be deployed at the Beatrice offshore wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth as well as at other British offshore wind farms.
“Meanwhle, Mitsubishi testing has included the Artemis hydraulic system which has secured employment and provided data for future offshore turbine designs and projects.”
30 Aug 2017