Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) — Scotland today gave the go-ahead to
four sea-based wind farms with a potential 2.3 gigawatts
capacity, enough for 1.4 million homes, the Scottish government
said in a statement.
Among the projects is a 450-megawatt wind farm built by
Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. at a cost of 1.5 billion pounds
($2.4 billion) that’s expected to start working in 2018, the
Irish company said in a separate statement.
Seagreen Wind Energy Ltd., a partnership between Fluor Ltd.
and the renewables arm of SSE Plc, will build two projects that
together may reach 1 gigawatt. Inch Cape Ltd., a venture between
Repsol Nuevas Energias U.K. Ltd. and EDP Renewables U.K. Ltd.,
will build a 784-megawatt installation.
“These wind farms alone could generate a combined gross
value added of between 314 million pounds and 1.2 billion pounds
in Scotland over their lifetime,” Energy Minister Fergus Ewing
said in the statement.
Scotland plans for all of its electricity to come from
renewables by 2020 from nearly half now. The wind farms may cut
as much as 135 million tons of carbon emissions over their
lifetime, according to the statement.
Offshore wind is one of the most expensive forms of low-carbon generation, costing as much as $189 a megawatt-hour,
according to estimates from London-based researcher Bloomberg
New Energy Finance. That compares with coal-fired power at about
$82 a megawatt-hour.
Environmental groups also fear its impact on wildlife
“It’s extremely disappointing that they have decided to
approve developments which put so many thousands of Scotland’s
seabirds at risk,” Stuart Housden, director of The Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds, Scotland, said in an e-mailed statement today.
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Alex Devine, Dylan Griffiths