Inch Cape Cleared to Go Beyond 1 GW Capacity

Scottish Ministers have agreed to vary the section 36 consent granted to Inch Cape Offshore Ltd – removing the 1 GW maximum generating capacity of their 72-turbine offshore wind project located off the Angus coastline.

The variation of consent does not increase the number of turbines and will not affect any of the other permissions or consents currently in place, the developer said.

”This is an important part of getting the project into shape as we look to compete in the auction for government-backed contracts for renewable energy later this year,” Adam Ezzamel, Project Director, Inch Cape Offshore Wind Ltd, said.

”Whilst this doesn’t change the number of turbines we can deploy, or maximum tip heights, it will allow us to use the most powerful wind turbines on the market, meaning we can produce more power at an even lower cost for consumers from the same overall layout. The auction is going to be incredibly competitive and likely to see a further reduction in the cost of offshore wind, so we need to optimise every single aspect of the project if we are to succeed.”

The developer is also seeking local views on extending the deadline for the design of the wind farm’s onshore substation which has been delayed due to Covid-19.

The company plans to apply for more time to come up with detailed designs for the Cockenzie substation, in order to meet conditions included in the planning permission in principle granted by East Lothian Council over two years ago.

”The project has planning permission in principle for the onshore substation and related works which was granted in 2019,” Nikki Keddie, Stakeholder Manager at Inch Cape Offshore Limited, said.

”However this permission expires in 2022 and we now intend to apply for more time to finalise the design of the substation and to submit the information required in the conditions attached to the consent. Our consultation events are an opportunity for local people to find out more about this process and to offer their views. All are welcome to attend and participate.”

Inch Cape is located in the North Sea around 15 kilometres off the Angus coastline at a site covering an area of some 150 km2.

Inch Cape Offshore Limited is an equal joint venture between the Edinburgh based Red Rock Power Limited and Ireland’s energy company, ESB.

The developer had initially planned to use wind turbines with a rated capacity of 9.5 MW. The removal of the capacity cap will allow Inch Cape Offshore Limited to deploy more powerful turbines, possibly with ratings
in excess of 15 MW within the consented parameters.