Thousands of jobs forecast as two adjacent wind farms off the Scottish coast gain formal consent

The Scottish government has given the go ahead for two offshore wind farms proposed for waters off the north-east coast of Scotland.

Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, has announced the formal consent
of two wind farm applications, which will be adjacent to each other in the Outer Moray Firth.

Moray Offshore Renewables Limited (MORL) and the Beatrice
Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL), together will be the world’s third largest
offshore wind farm, with up to 326 wind turbines.

The developments, sited off the Caithness coast, will be capable
of generating up to 1,866 MW of electricity, enough to power over one million
homes, and will be worth up to £2.5billion to the Scottish economy.

The consents are granted subject to strict conditions which will
mitigate and monitor a range of potential impacts, including in relation to
birds and other environmental considerations.

The developers have to undertake local, regional, and strategic
bird monitoring and have to comply with a number of plans such as the
Environmental Management Plan and the Operation and Maintenance Programme to
ensure effective mitigation takes place.

Mr Ewing said: ‘These wind farms alone could generate gross value worth up to
£2.5billion over their lifetime and generate up to 4,600 jobs during peak
construction and up to 580 once in operation.

‘Offshore wind has been delayed by the process of the UK
Government’s Electricity Market Reform, but these two consents today offer
tangible progress towards real investment opportunity in Scotland.

‘The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and
sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a
potential inward investment of £30 billion and support up to 28,000 direct jobs
and a further 20,000 indirect jobs, generating up to £7.1 billion for the
Scottish economy.’

The Crown Estate has welcomed the news.

Ronnie Quinn, The Crown Estate’s lead on energy and infrastructure in Scotland, said: ‘These consents signal a big step
forward for the offshore renewables industry, particularly in Scotland.

next stage is unlocking the multibillion pound investments required.’