Vattenfall announces £300m renewable investment in European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre
Green campaigners welcomed the news but the Trump Organisation said it will lodge formal written objections
Offshore wind - credit: Holyrood
Renewable energy developer Vattenfall has confirmed it will invest £300m in building Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), based off the Aberdeenshire coast, will test and demonstrate cutting-edge offshore wind technology.
Green campaigners welcomed the news, while SNP MSP Gillian Martin said the announcement proved “reports of the death of the offshore wind industry in Scotland have been greatly exaggerated”.
But the Trump Organisation, which has been attempting to block the project, said it would lodge formal written objections with Marine Scotland to stop construction.
Onshore construction on the 11-turbine 92.4MW offshore wind demonstrator will begin later this year, with offshore development starting in 2017. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2018 with an operational lifespan of 20 years.
SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East Gillian Martin said: “This is a really exciting day for the North East and for Scotland’s renewables sector – with the project now well on course to begin construction later this year”, adding that, “It leaves those who have spent the week talking down offshore wind in Scotland looking pretty foolish.”
She said: “The EOWDC will play an incredibly important role in diversifying Aberdeen from a hub for oil and gas expertise to the all-round energy global energy innovation centre it needs to become to keep ahead. This project puts the city and surrounding firmly on the map for offshore wind innovation.
“It provides a launchpad for investment and further jobs in the sector and helps to drive forward the SNP’s world-leading ambitions for a low carbon economy.
“Needless to say, reports of the death of the offshore wind industry in Scotland have been greatly exaggerated – it’s got a healthy and vibrant future ahead of it.”
Donald Trump claims the development would present an eyesore for those using his Aberdeenshire golf course.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organisation said: "There are 16 planning conditions which have not been purified and we intend to lodge formal written objections with Marine Scotland, challenging each one of them.
"The project can't proceed until the conditions are satisfied and we will also pursue additional remedies before the European Courts as necessary."
Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said the project, along with developments at Levenmouth, Hunterston and Statoil’s Hywind project, helps cement Scotland as a hub for innovation in the sector.
She said: “The commitment of both Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group to the EOWDC is to be commended, and plans for the site will help develop the renewable energy supply chain in the North East and across Scotland.
Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie said: “This investment really is welcome news for the North East and for Scotland, especially in a week where the UK government abolished the DECC, the department responsible for dealing with climate change, and details of the scrapping of a carbon capture scheme in Peterhead came to light.”
Meanwhile Fabrice Leveque, WWF Scotland climate and energy policy officer, welcomed the news.
He said: “The commitment means millions of pounds of investment in clean power in the north east, creating new jobs and helping to ensure Scotland continues to build on its successful renewable electricity story.
He added: “To ensure many benefits of our renewable energy transition translate to benefits in our housing and transport sectors, the Scottish Government needs to provide a long-term vision for 2030 and set a goal of meeting 50% of all our energy needs from renewables.”
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