RenewableUK Hails Moray Firth Projects Entering Planning System
RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind and marine energy industries, has warmly welcomed the news that EDP Renewables and Repsol’s Moray Firth projects (Telford, Stevenson and MacColl) have entered the planning system. The capacity of these projects, off the north east coast of Scotland, adds up to 1.5GW – enough to power between 800,000 and 1 million homes.
These are the first projects in The Crown Estate’s Round Three leases to enter the planning system. RenewableUK expects a further 4.5GW of power to be submitted this year, in line with The Crown Estate’s ambition that Round Three planning applications should start in 2012. It’s expected that first power will being achieved from a Round Three project in 2015.
However, RenewableUK emphasised that whilst this represents tangible progress, the timescales involved mean that policy certainty, laid out in the upcoming Energy Bill, is vital if investment is to remain strong.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said:
“We’re marking a watershed moment as Round Three starts to become a reality with this planning application. It’s the first of many coming forward. As well as delivering secure supplies of low carbon electricity to British homes and businesses, our global leadership role in offshore wind can provide tens of thousands of jobs across the country, building and maintaining these turbines.
A timely consent for Moray Offshore Renewables could lead to other significant milestones being achieved early in the Round Three process, such as commencing construction and generating electricity in 2016, creating opportunities for supply chain companies across the UK.
However, the investment timelines for Round Three projects are long. Developers need certainty that Government provides and maintains a stable financial framework throughout the entire Round Three programme to ensure that the opportunities to come in terms of job creation and wider economic benefits are fully realised.”
Offshore WIND staff, August 31, 2012; Image: RenewableUK