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Scottish court approves construction of 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm

Published 20 July 2017

The Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland has approved Mainstream Renewable Power’s 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, ending a long-running judicial review brought by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Mainstream Renewable Power received the permission to construct the offshore wind farm in 2014.

But it has been delayed due to the lawsuit filed against the company by the RSPB over a planning decision for the wind farm by Scottish Ministers..

With the fresh decision, the company can now begin the construction of the offshore wind farm which is expected to cost about £2bn.

When constructed, the offshore wind farm which will be located north of Torness on Scotland’s east coast, is expected to generate enough green electricity to supply to about 325,000 Scottish homes.

Construction phase of the project could generate about 500 local jobs and 100 permanent jobs after it commissioning.

The company stated about £540m will be invested directly and £610m during the operational phase in Scotland.

Besides this, the wind farm can help the UK and Scotland in achieving their climate and clean energy goals.

Financial close for the project is expected to take place in 2018 and construction could start in 2019. First electricity from the offshore wind farm is expected in 2021.

Mainstream Renewable Power chief operating officer Andy Kinsella said: "After more than two years and two court hearings, we hope that the RSPB acknowledges a fair hearing and allows us to get on with delivering the very significant benefits this project brings to the Scottish economy and its environment.

"Once constructed this £2bn project will be capable of supplying 325,000 homes - a city the size of Edinburgh - with clean energy.

"We have taken advantage of significant advances in the technology to be used allowing the number of turbines to be reduced from the 125 in the original consent application in 2012, to a maximum of 64."