Mainstream applies for 450 MW offshore wind farm in UK

A wind power company has submitted a £1.4 billion application to build up to 125 wind turbines off the east coast of Scotland.

Mainstream Renewable Power is seeking consent from Marine Scotland to erect up to 125 wind turbines about nine miles off the Fife coast.     

It said the windpower facility would be ready by 2016 and could generate 450MW of electricity, enough to power 325,000 homes. The application is now open to consultation until 10 September.

The company said the development represented an investment of £1.4bn and could create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs both during construction and its anticipated 25 years in operation.

The offshore wind power project, called Neart na Gaoithe (meaning “strength of the wind” in Gaelic), would occupy an area of around 65 sq miles.

Mainstream Renewable Power, which is based in Ireland, has renewable energy sites in seven countries and is developing projects in England and Germany.

Andy Kinsella, the firm’s chief executive of offshore business, said: “This is a major milestone in the delivery of this offshore wind farm.

“With over 7,500MW of offshore wind farms in development in the UK and Germany, this demonstrates Mainstream’s ability in selecting the best sites, developing to a high standard and delivering to challenging milestones.

“This wind power project is of strategic importance to Scotland; not only will it supply a significant percentage of the country’s electricity demand, it will also help to deliver Scotland and the UK’s renewable energy targets in advance of 2020.”

The company said the exact number of wind turbines at the development would depend on which model was selected and numbers will range between 64 and 125.

The site is one of six highlighted as suitable for development by the Scottish government’s strategic environmental assessment. Mainstream Renewable Power has secured a power grid connection and have an Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate.