Plans to build a giant offshore wind farm, one of the world’s biggest, off Scotland’s east coast, have come a step closer.
If approval is gained for the new plans, 307 of the world’s tallest and most powerful turbines – standing up to 355m from sea level to blade tip – will be built in the Firth of Forth.
These could have the potential to power Scottish homes twice over, as well as save around eight million tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to Scotland’s total annual car emissions.
With a grid connection already secured at Branxton, near Torness, in East Lothian, project leaders anticipate a full planning application to be lodged with the Scottish Government by next spring.
If all is given the green light, the wind farm could be operational by 2026, generating thousands of jobs in the process of its construction.
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Alex Meredith, SSE’s project director for Berwick Bank, says: “Scotland has talked about leadership in the field, but this really would be world-leading.
“We’ve got all the Scotwind projects that are due to come forward but this project could ensure the supply chain is in place. It’s a big-scale opportunity to create a strong offshore renewables pipeline.”
Meredith also iterated that extensive studies and impact assessments have been carried out to ensure that the project doesn’t have an effect on local wildlife.
Michael Matheson, Scotland’s energy and net zero secretary, has welcomed the plans.
He said: “Decarbonising our energy demands is a vital component of our just transition to net-zero and our world-leading renewables sector will play a vital role in this.
“The continuing growth of offshore wind over the next decade will be crucial to meeting our incredibly stretching, near-term climate targets, and we will need to work innovatively, at pace and with agility to do so.”