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Major marine wind farm proposal for Western Isles

The world’s first marine hydrogen windpower development is being earmarked for the Western Isles it has emerged.

Early talks have taken place over installing a revolutionary floating major offshore windfarm between the Hebrides and the Scottish mainland.

The proposal comes in the wake of the refusal to build 181 giant turbines in a widespread scheme across the Lewis moor.

In April the Scottish Government denied Amec planning permission to construct the massive development after thousands of islanders objected.

Now Dutch-based developer Blue H Technologies is considering building offshore wind turbines on semi-submerged offshore platforms in the Minch.

Currently at the concept stage, an estimated 40 to 90 huge turbines may be mooted which could take up a sizeable amount of sea room in the strait between Lewis and Wester Ross.

The sea energy farm would have nearly 400 megawatt of capacity and may be anchored up to 10 miles off the islands’ coast.

Representatives from Blue H were in Stornoway in recent days to sound out support for their plans. It is understood that they would seek public funding for the project.

A unique development is earmarked for the Western Isles to host what is billed as the “world’s first offshore wind to hydrogen demonstration project.”

It would see the Minch electricity used at sea to convert water into hydrogen gas which would be piped from floating platforms onshore to Lewis.

Blue H is applying for permissions for similar wind farms in the USA and Southern Italy which the firm describes as “a revolutionary world premiere in the offshore wind energy sector.”

Chief executive Neal Bastick recently said: “Blue H intends to demonstrate that deepwater offshore wind farms can be built economically and certainly at a cost which is extremely competitive to the shallow water wind farms of today.”

Hebrides News

11 June 2008