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180-turbine Firth of Tay wind farm plan aired

Plans for a multi-billion pound wind farm off the Angus coast have been given a public airing in Dundee.

Aberdeen-based SeaEnergy Renewals is developing plans to build up to 180 wind turbines on a 150-square kilometre site in the outer Firth of Tay.

The Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm site would be from 15km to 22km offshore and would deliver more than 3 gigawatts of power – enough for around 680,000 homes.

The project is in the planning stage and Marine Scotland would have to grant approval before it could come to fruition.

Speaking at a consultation event at Discovery Point, project manager Michael Wilton said it was unlikely that construction on the farm would begin before 2015 even if assents were given.

Mr Wilton said at least part of the farm – which could cost up to £3 billion to establish – would be visible from the Angus coast but ways to reduce its impact were being looked at.

“We are looking to generate power from wind and we feel the best way to do that is to go offshore and minimise the visual impact while maximising the resources available to us,” he said.

“We feel that large scale wind farms are the way forward for it to be really economically viable.”

At present the company does not have a base in Dundee or Angus but Mr Wilton said it would probably move to establish itself in the area should consent be granted for the wind farm.

He said the firm – which is to establish a new venture group, Inch Cape Offshore Wind, to take the proposal forward – would look to engage local workers and expertise wherever possible when establishing and maintaining the new wind farm.

“We are looking at the local aspect of this and how we can service things locally,” Mr Wilton said on Thursday.

“We are working with a lot of local stakeholders and many of the major institutions and we are looking at the various ports and harbour possibilities at present but we are at a very early stage.

“What we are focusing on at the moment is the consenting activities and there will be further consultation in due course.”

The consultation session was the final one of six which have been held at various locations across Tayside and Fife over recent weeks.