Scotland Nods to Sleeker Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm

The Scottish government has approved the proposed changes to the Inch Cape offshore wind farm which allows for the installation of fewer but larger capacity wind turbines.

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) said this is a key milestone for the project as it prepares to bid for the third Contract for Difference (CfD) funding allocation round later this month.

The new design for up to 72 turbines is an improved alternative to ICOL’s original consented design from 2014 which called for the installation of up to 110 turbines.

The fewer but taller and higher capacity turbines would also reduce the number of export cables required.

“The opportunity to propose an alternative design, which will see significant economic benefits and reduced risk of environmental impacts, is testament to how new technologies are continuing to transform the industry and bring improved benefits to the consumer,” Ben King, Offshore Consents Manager at ICOL, said.

”Securing approval is a key step forward ahead of our CfD bid and while our previous consent remains valid, the progression of our plans and work over the last few months very much focused around this new design.”

ICOL is currently conducting the second phase of its offshore site investigation in the Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth following initial works at the end of 2018. The investigation has so far completed geotechnical studies and is expected to finalise a geophysical survey in July, with seabed data informing the next detailed design phase of the wind farm.

The development is expected to bring at least GBP 558 million and 858 jobs to the UK economy during construction through the local supply chain, ICOL said.

The developer is currently finalising its assessment for the location of its Operations and Maintenance base at a local port on the East Coast.

ICOL is 100% owned by Red Rock Power, an Edinburgh-based company, which is in turn owned by China’s SDIC Power Holdings.