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Giant windfarm off Aberdeen takes a big step forward

A detailed planning application for a ground-breaking windfarm in the North Sea will be submitted within the next year, it will be announced today.

The Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group has teamed up with engineering giant AMEC to draw up plans for a windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen.

It will help to provide green electricity, create jobs in the rapidly-growing sector and demonstrate Aberdeen’s “innovation and proactive approach” as an energy capital.

The proposed windfarm is likely to comprise 23 three-bladed wind turbines, with an individual capacity of up to 5MW, with a maximum height to tip of 150 metres, located between 0.6 miles and 2.5 miles offshore.

The Press and Journal can reveal that the two firms are now just 12 months away from submitting their plans to the Scottish Government.

The final Environmental Impact Assessment for the windfarm will investigate issues such as the potential effects on shipping and navigation, aviation and Ministry Of Defence operations.

Following the final assessment, AMEC and the renewable group will aim to submit a consent application to the Government.

Renewables champion Iain Todd said: “We are taking the opportunity at Offshore Europe to mark this significant milestone in the project.

“The plans have been progressing steadily and we are now confident that a consent application will be lodged within the a year.”

He added: “We hope that the design of the project will be satisfactory so that it will be relatively simple for the Scottish Government to give us consent.”

The renewables group recently discovered the waters where it wishes to locate the windfarm may harbour unexploded World War II bombs and shells.

An initial study of Aberdeen Bay uncovered the possibility that unexploded ordnance lies there.

It is hoped that through the windfarm study, a more detailed picture of the area’s history can be built.

Initial studies have suggested that there is a possibility of finding prehistoric settlements and artefacts, as well as unregistered shipwrecks from periods earlier than the mid-18th century, when wreck reporting started.

The Press and Journal

4 September 2007