The RSPB has called for a judicial review after the Scottish Government gave consent for four offshore windfarms in the east of Scotland.
The charity mounted a legal challenge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh over permission granted last October for four Scottish territorial and round three wind farms.
The projects, in the Outer Forth and Tay, include Mainstream’s 450MW Neart na Gaoithe, Repsol and EDP’s 784MW Inch Cape and SSE and Fluor’s 525MW Seagreen Alpha and 525MW Seagreen Bravo.
Scottish Renewables said the decision by the charity was “really disappointing news”.
A spokesman said:”These decisions raise important questions about how the laws that are designed to protect our country’s most important places for wildlife, and the birds that depend on them, are applied.
“If these decisions are allowed to stand, they could have serious implications for how birds and important wildlife sites are protected across Scotland and beyond.”
Paperwork for the charity was submitted earlier this month.
The spokesman added that submissions were only made in “exceptional circumstances”.
The charity has not made such a challenge in Scotland for more than a decade.
Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “This is really disappointing news.
“Every one of these projects has been through an incredibly rigorous, detailed and independent assessment lasting anywhere between one and two years, and it now looks like there will be
another lengthy examination of that process in court before they can go ahead.
“This action is now holding up two-thirds of the schemes in development around our coastline.
“Together these could produce the electricity demand of more than 1.4 million homes, create thousands of jobs, and provide a huge boost to the economy.
“This new delay will make it even harder for Scotland to catch up with the rest of UK and Northern Europe, which already have a sizeable offshore wind industry and supply chain supporting thousands of jobs.
“The growth of renewable electricity here in Scotland has been a great success with the sector now Scotland’s main source of electricity, and displacing almost 12 million tonnes of CO2 each year, but actions like this threaten future progress and the growth of clean energy production around our coasts.
“The irony here is that climate change is reckoned to be one of the biggest threats to Scotland’s protected habitats and species. Offshore wind is a key part of the mix required for us to meet our targets for the growth of renewables and the reduction of carbon emissions.”
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