Multi-million Moray West wind farm wins approval

Resident Johnny Ewart examines Moray West Offshore wind farm plans at a community consultation meeting.

The giant Moray West wind farm project has been given the go-ahead by authorities, with the project boss calling it “major hurdle” to overcome. The 100-turbine Moray West Offshore Wind Farm was given marine consent by the Scottish Government yesterday afternoon. The Moray West project is the sister site for the huge Moray East Offshore Wind farm that began construction last month.

The project completing all the permissions necessary for the development to compete in the upcoming UK government Contracts for difference (CfD) auction this summer.

The wind project will look to create up to 150 jobs and add £90 million to the local economy, developers have said.

It aims to provide power for more than 900,000 homes.

Developer EDP Renewables stressed the company’s commitment to supporting local firms in the Aberdeenshire and Moray region during the announcement of the project last year.

Subject to winning a CfD, the 800 megawatt (MW) development will commence construction in 2022.

Dan Finch, director of Moray West said: “We’re getting amazing support right now from people who would’ve originally been the oil and gas industry but are now working with us and investing.

“We’ve got to be competitive to win, and projects built today are at the lowest price we’ve ever seen. “A future project like this one could be even lower, in terms of cost.”

A proposed objection to the giant wind project was thrown out in November last year due to the claims being considered “subjective”.
Councillor Maxine Smith of the Cromarty Firth Ward said concerns published in the North Planning Applications Committee report claiming the development would “dominate the horizon” were not deemed to be “of any significance”.
Mr Finch added: “This has all been a bit last minute but this is great news.

“We will complete the application for the CfD next week and will take part in the bid. “Our staff have been simply amazing. “We hope to hear of a positive result around the end of summer, beginning of autumn.”

Last week, Highland energy firm Global Energy Group’s (Geg) Port of Nigg was announced as the location of a new ‘staging port’ for 103 completed jacket structures before their transportation out to the Moray East site.

The new contract, agreed with contractor Deme Offshore, could also see the creation of around 90 jobs as the site takes receipt of the 100 turbine jackets and three substations.

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