The partners behind one of the largest offshore windfarms in the UK – due to be built in the Moray Firth – have signed up to a programme to remove rubbish from the sea.
The backers of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm have pledged its support for the Scottish Fishing for Litter initiative, a project designed to remove rubbish from the sea through the operations of local fishermen while also raising awareness of the significant detrimental impact waste can have on the marine environment.
According to energy giant SSE, which has a 50% stake in Beatrice, there are 212 boats and 14 harbours that participate in the Scottish scheme.
Since the project’s inception in 2005, it has helped to remove over 800 tonnes of litter from our seas, the equivalent of more than 47 million empty drinks cans.
The project is co-ordinated by Kimo, an international association of local authorities. The Scottish Fishing for Litter scheme was launched in 2011 and is sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Crown Estate, the Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire Council, Highland Council, Seagreen Wind Energy, oil and gas firm Total E&P
UK, and the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust.
Steve Wilson, Beatrice Project Manager said: “As a responsible developer, we are delighted to support the Fishing for Litter initiative which helps to remove harmful litter from our seas and create a more sustainable environment for marine animals and wider users.”
The Beatrice project is situated in the Outer Moray Firth and is a joint venture owned by SSE (50%), Repsol Nuevas Energias (25%) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (25%).
The 277-turbine scheme, which was consented by Marine Scotland in March 2014, was named among the first eight renewables developments to secure a contract to supply energy from the UK government last year.
Nevertheless, the windfarm is still subject to a final investment decision although its developers plan to start construction in 2016.
The windfarm could create up to 5,000 jobs and power more than a million homes.