A potential £2 billion investment for the north-east of Scotland has been put on hold as a giant Moray Firth wind farm project saw its bid for a UK contract thwarted today.
The 90-turbine Moray West Offshore Wind Farm, the sister project to the Moray East wind project, was unsuccessful in its Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction proposal.
It was hoped the development could bring £90 million investment to the north-east region alongside hundreds of jobs.
Dan Finch, Moray West director claimed the project had the potential to be a “£2bn investment” for Scotland’s economy.
Red Rock Power’s Inch Cape Wind Farm off the Angus Coast was also unsuccessful, alongside Shetland’s Viking Wind Farm.
SSE Renewables 1.5 gigawatt (GW) Seagreen Wind Farm saw its bid to build a 120 turbine project accepted by the UK Government bid process.
The Forthwind offshore wind development also received a government contract.
A number of small remote island projects in Scotland, such as the Muaitheabhal Wind Farm (189MW) were successful in gaining a government contract.
Mr Finch said: “Despite this setback, it is a significant achievement to get the project to such an advanced stage in a short period of time.
“Moray West will continue to develop the project in anticipation of the next auction round and thank our suppliers for helping us deliver a highly competitive bid, and with whom we will continue to work to drive the cost reduction agenda.
“I would also like to thank both internal and external stakeholders involved in getting Moray West Offshore Windfarm to this stage. Without their support we would not have been able to prepare the project for a strong bid.
“We continue to look forward to taking Moray West into its construction phase and delivering significant economic opportunities for Scotland and the UK.”
“We’re confident that Moray West is able to become a key piece of Scotland’s energy transition story.
“There is an opportunity for Scotland’s energy targets to be met in future by Scottish offshore windfarms and for Moray West to be a key step on that journey.
“The project also shows how two leaders in the industry, EDPR and ENGIE, can work together to develop low-cost renewable electricity.”
“We also remain confident in the CfD process and recognise the mechanism’s importance in keeping prices down”
Scottish Renewables’ chief executive Claire Mack added: “Scotland’s offshore wind resource is tremendous, and we’re now starting to see the economic and environmental benefits of tapping it.
“We’re also in the vanguard of offshore wind technology development, and the Forthwind project will cement Scotland’s reputation as a hotbed of offshore wind innovation which could contribute to ever greater cost reductions in future.”
The Viking Wind Farm in Shetland did not receive a contract to sell its power, so cannot proceed at present – putting the future of the islands’ interconnector cable in jeopardy.”
Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables said his firm’s success “strengthens” the companies “position as a leading developer, owner and operator of offshore and onshore wind across the UK and Ireland”.