Four Scottish Offshore Wind Projects Back in Business

The Inner House of the Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court, has overturned the ruling which halted further development of four wind projects with a total capacity of 2,284MW in the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) launched a legal challenge against the approval of four wind farms by the Scottish Ministers in January 2015, claiming that the projects pose ”too great a risk to the many thousands of resident and migratory seabirds.”

In July 2016, the Outer House of the Court of Session ruled in favour of RSPB and ordered the Scottish Ministers to reconsider the decisions to approve the four wind farms – Inch Cape, Seagreen Alpha, Seagreen Bravo and Neart na Gaoithe – and address concerns raised by the RSPB.

The Scottish Ministers lodged an appeal against the ruling in August 2016.

Mainstream Renewable Power, the developer of the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe wind farm, and Inch Cape Offshore Limited, the developer of the 784MW Inch Cape project, also filed separate appeals against the decision.

The Neart na Gaoithe wind farm is the closest to reaching the final investment decision seeing that it is currently the only of the four projects to be awarded a Contract for Difference.

The developer identified the dispute with the RSPB as one of the main reasons for the project not reaching the financial close.