Plans for huge £325million floating north-east windfarm could take step forward

Lord Nicol Stephen

Plans for a £325million floating windfarm off the north-east coast could take a step forward next week.

A marine licence application for up to eight wind turbine generators – comprising the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm – will be scrutinised by Aberdeenshire councillors next week.

A report in 2014 concluded that the proposals, located nine miles out at seas, would be visible “from many parts” of the north east coastline.

The turbines would be about 577ft each.

Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited – a company set up by former deputy first minister Nicol Stephen and Allan MacAskill, the brother of former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill – are behind the proposals.

The licence will be considered by the council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee next Tuesday, along with a section 36 application under the electricity act for the large-scale development.

The council’s director of infrastructure services, Stephen Archer, stated: “The wind turbines would be connected by inter-array cables with the resultant power being exported directly to the onshore grid by two 33KV export cables.

“The wind turbines would be of a semi-submersible sub-structure, requiring anchors and mooring lines to maintain the position of the floating units.”

He added that the local authority’s main interests “relates to the visual impact of the development from the shore, an ecology interest, as well as a level of interest in the impact on fisheries”.

Mr Archer also declared the applications “do not raise particular concerns” but required more information to allow “fundamental onshore implications” to be fully assessed.

The “generating capacity” of the windfarm would be 48MW.

A marine licence is required for construction on the sea bed of Scottish waters, depositing or removing substances from it and dredging.