Scotland plans to develop up to 1,500 MW of offshore wind energy

First Minister Alex Salmond renewed the Scottish Government’s pledge to drive forward Scotland’s renewables industry as he met representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd. ("MORL"), the joint venture company owned by EDP Renewables and Repsol to develop offshore wind power in the Outer Moray Firth.

Mr Salmond discussed their plans to develop up to 1,500 MW of offshore wind energy in the deeper waters of the outer Moray Firth, during a meeting aboard Gardline’s Survey Ship, the Ivero. The development could have the capacity to power in excess of one million households, according to MORL.

Gardline has been contracted to undertake geophysical and geotechnical survey works in the Moray Firth, providing vital information about seabed conditions, which will enable the electrical infrastructure to be designed to withstand the challenging conditions of the North Sea.

The First Minister toured the Ship with representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables, and was briefed on the challenges of developing large-scale wind generation in the Outer Moray Firth.

The First Minster said: "I’m very pleased to see first hand how Gardline’s survey work is progressing and to meet representatives of EDP Renewables to hear more about this exciting project. I’ve been impressed by the vision and determination of EDPR and Repsol since the announcement of their partnership for the Moray Firth offshore wind farm in June.

"This wind farm project is among eight developments in Scottish waters that, together, will deliver up to 10 Gigawatts of clean energy from offshore wind turbines and help ensure we meet our 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity demand from renewables. Together, these offshore wind projects could generate investment value of as much as £30 billion, and businesses and communities across Scotland are well-placed to secure substantial benefits from that, as well as from exporting expertise for projects further afield.

"The Scottish Government will continue to work with public and private sector partners to support key clean energy developments such as the Moray Firth offshore wind project – to support jobs and the reindustrialisation of Scotland’s communities while lowering carbon emissions and so helping protect the planet for future generations."

Dan Finch, UK Managing Director of EDPR UK, said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide the First Minister with first-hand experience of the work, commitment and expertise that is required to allow Scotland to lead the world in the development of commercial-scale wind generation, in deeper waters, distant from shore.

John Morse, Manager of the Renewables Group, Gardline said: "Gardline is delighted to welcome the First Minister aboard the Ivero, particularly given the importance of the renewable energy sector in Scotland and the country’s commitment to harness and take full advantage of the green energy potential."