One of world’s biggest offshore wind farm bids near to a final decision

Scottish Ministers are now considering an application to install one of the world’s biggest wind farms off the Scottish Borders coastline.
The offshore wind farm would be one of the biggest in the world.The offshore wind farm would be one of the biggest in the world.
The offshore wind farm would be one of the biggest in the world.

On December 9 an application was submitted to ministers for the construction and operation of Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm in the outer Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay, off the coast of both East Lothian and the Borders.

The proposed wind farm, which would be located 20 miles east of St Abbs Head, is set to comprise of 307 wind turbine generators and associated support structures, with a maximum rotor blade diameter no greater than 310 metres and a minimum blade tip height of 355m.

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Energy company SSE Renewables says it has taken steps during the planning process to reduce the environmental impact of the 4100MW wind farm on sea-bird populations.

The original plan had been to develop the entire area of Berwick Bank.

However, following feedback from stakeholders the overall size of the site was reduced by 20 per cent to help reduce potential impact on birds and shellfish.

The company says the project is “essential” if the Scottish Government is to reach its offshore wind targets by 2030.

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Scottish Borders Council, alongside East Lothian and Fife local authorities, Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council and Eyemouth Fishery Office, are among the dozens of organisations being consulted over the plans, although the ultimate approval for the project rests with Scottish Government minsters.

This week dozens of documents related to the wind farm application were lodged on Scottish Borders Council’s planning portal website ahead of the final decision.

In the papers a spokesperson for the Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm development says: “Located in the North Sea, in the outer Firth of Forth, Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm has the potential to drive up to 4.1 GW of installed capacity, making it one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world.

“Berwick Bank is deliverable now and is essential if Scotland is to be successful in meeting the Scottish Government targets of 11GW new offshore wind by 2030.”