92 MW offshore wind farm being built near Scottish East Coast

Monday, 25 July, 2016 - 09:00

The Swedish energy company Vattenfall has bought Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group’s 25% share of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) also known as “Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm”. With this the company now fully owns the project, which was developed together with AREG.

Vattenfall will invest more than £300 million to build Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility, Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, which had been developed together with Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG). The project will consist of 11 wind turbines with a capacity of 8.4 MW each and therefore will have a total capacity of 92.4 MW. The project is scheduled to become fully operational in 2018 and will be used to test and demonstrate the latest offshore wind technology.

Onshore construction near Blackdog (approximately 3 km north of Aberdeen) will start later this year and is due to complete late next year. Works offshore will commence in Aberdeen Bay in late 2017. The project is scheduled to generate first power in spring 2018 and operate for at least 20 years.

Great news for Scotland’s offshore wind industry

Responding to the news, Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “This announcement is great news for Scotland’s offshore wind industry, and together with developments at Levenmouth, Hunterston and Statoil’s Hywind project helps cement Scotland as a hub for innovation in the sector. We have one of the best offshore wind resources in Europe and it’s hugely exciting to see development happening in our waters right now, with hundreds of jobs in offshore wind created in recent months in Campbeltown, Nigg and Wick.”

Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Wind at Vattenfall, said: “Vattenfall, AREG, The Crown Estate, the Scottish Government and many others have been working since consent in 2013 to deliver the project and support the increasing competitiveness of the offshore wind sector. Now the Vattenfall team and our contractors will focus on building the project safely and help establish the north east of Scotland as an international centre for offshore wind innovation. The UK Government believes that wind power should continue to provide an essential part of the UK’s low carbon electricity generation mix and so we remain committed to expanding our UK operations. In particular, we are confident that the new UK and Scottish governments will continue to support growth in offshore wind as the industry lowers the cost of energy significantly.”

“This is great news for the industry. We’re working hard to ensure offshore wind projects can help generate the low carbon electricity supply Scotland needs and the associated high quality engineering jobs Scotland wants,” said Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy and added: “It’s important to remember that Scotland’s commitment to renewable energy has already helped the country meet our goal of achieving a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions six years ahead of schedule, but we have more to do as a society in setting out to achieve our obligation to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 and renewables will be absolutely key to this.” 

Project background

In 2003, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group had the vision of a wind farm in Aberdeen Bay. In 2008, the EOWDC project was conceived and in 2010 the project partners AREG and Vattenfall won a €40 million EU grant. In 2011 an application for offshore consent for the 11 turbine project was submitted with Scottish Ministers granting permission in 2013. A number of legal challenges to the Scottish Government’s consent decision followed, which were eventually cleared in December 2015.

Tanja Peschel / Vattenfall

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