Mainstream Renewable granted licence for Scottish 450MW wind farm

10 Oct 2014

Irish renewable energy company Mainstream Renewable Power (MRP) has been granted the licence for a 450MW wind farm off the Scottish coast.

The Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) project will be based off Scotland’s south-eastern coast in the Outer Forth Estuary in the North Sea.

This will be the first large-scale offshore wind farm constructed and operated in Scottish waters and will have the capacity to deliver enough power for 325,000 homes in Scotland, equal to 3.7pc of Scotland’s total electricity demand.

With the NnG project representing a capital expenditure investment of around stg£1.5bn, the wind farm is expected to start pre-construction activities next year and begin generating electricity by 2018.

A map showing where exactly the Neart na Gaoithe site will be located

Once completed, it will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the UK and will consist of up to 75 wind turbines occupying an area of about 80 sq kilometres. 

At its closest point to land, it lies over 15 km off the Fife coast in water depths of 45-55 metres. 

Only last month the Irish company signed a deal with the government in the western African nation of Ghana to construct a 2,000MW wind-powered network representing about 10pc of the country’s energy needs.

Speaking of the NnG project and its effect on Scotland, MRP’s founder and chief executive, Eddie O’Connor said, “Today’s announcement is of particular importance for Scotland because it is the first time a wind farm will be built in Scottish waters with the purpose of supplying Scottish homes and businesses with renewable energy. In fact, it will generate enough green power to supply more than all the homes in Edinburgh.”

Offshore wind farm image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic