Swedish windfall for Aberdeen after windfarm plan given go ahead

Swedish utility greenlights development of £300m Aberdeen offshore windfarm

SWEDISH state-owned utility firm Vattenfall has secured permission to build a new £300m offshore windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen – despite efforts by Donald Trump to prevent it.

With a plan for 11 turbines generating 92.4-MW of electricity, after completion it will be the largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility in Scotland.

Vattenfall, has also become the owner of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited, taking 100 per cent of its shares. 

Magnus Hall, CEO and president of Vattenfall, said in a statement on the company’s website: “We aim to double our wind power capacity from 2 to 4 GW by 2020 and are focusing on reducing and streamlining our offshore wind power costs.

"Our investment in the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off Aberdeen is an important part of this process."

The announcement comes off the back of an €11m investment in ocean energy trials in Orkney through the Strategic European Action (FORESEA) project funded by Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), reported by CommonSpace today.

"This project will keep our nation at the forefront of innovation by allowing energy companies to identify new ways to reduce operating costs." Paul Wheelhouse

The European Commission (EC), Scottish Government and OEE were keen for European-wide investment in research to attract investors. In the Belfast Telegraph, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin (SNP) said: “This is a really exciting day for the north-east and for Scotland’s renewables sector – with the project now well on course to begin construction later this year. 

"It leaves those who have spent the week talking down offshore wind in Scotland looking pretty foolish."

Martin was referring to comments made by former Labour MP and Scottish energy minister Brian Wilson, who referred to the green energy industry in Scotland as “pretty much dead”.
 
Approval for the Vattenfall windfarm had been previously delayed because of numerous unsuccessful legal appeals by Donald Trump, the present presumptive candidate of the Republican party in this year's US presidential, who owns a golf course in Aberdeen and has been outspoken in his opposition to windfarms.

Onshore construction will begin later this year and will be completed at the back end of 2017 while offshore work will start in Blackdog, Aberdeen Bay at the same time. 

It is predicted by Vattenfall that the offshore works will begin generating power in spring of 2018 and have an operational life more than 20 years.

"It’s important to remember that Scotland’s commitment to renewable energy has already helped the country meet our goal of achieving a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions six years ahead of schedule." Paul Wheelhouse

In a departmental statement, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is admired around the world for our work in renewable energy and this is great news for the industry

"This project will keep our nation at the forefront of innovation by allowing energy companies to identify new ways to reduce operating costs. 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.

"It’s important to remember that Scotland’s commitment to renewable energy has already helped the country meet our goal of achieving a 42 per cent 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 per cent by 2050 and renewables will be absolutely key to this."

"It leaves those who have spent the week talking down offshore wind in Scotland looking pretty foolish." Gillian Martin

Patrick Harvie, MSP and co-convenor for the Scottish Greens, in a party statement commented: "This investment really is welcome news for the north east and for Scotland.

"It is especially in a week where the UK government abolished the DECC, the department responsible for dealing with climate change, and details of the scrapping of a carbon capture scheme in Peterhead came to light."

Picture courtesy of Paul Teeside

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.