SSE Renewables will launch a consultation next week on proposals for a new “multi-billion pound” offshore wind farm off the coast of Scotland.
The planned 242-turbine Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm would have an installed capacity of up to 2.3 gigawatts (GW) and would generate enough clean energy to power 3.5 million homes annually, reducing carbon emissions by 4 million tonnes.
It has been earmarked for development 34 miles off the East Lothian coast in the outer Firth of Forth.
The project is being developed alongside plans for SSE’s neighbouring Marr Bank Offshore Wind Farm project, which would have an installed capacity of up to 1.85GW.
If it is given the nod of approval by authorities and developers, Berwick Bank would become one of the “world’s largest” offshore wind farms, aiding Scotland’s efforts to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
A consultation on the proposals will open on Monday, November 16, and will run for three weeks up.
Details of the project will be shared online via an exhibition with residents, businesses, community groups and consultees in East Lothian being encouraged to make their thoughts heard.
As the project progresses, SSE Renewables has said it is committed to hosting “Meet the Developer” events to outline opportunities for the local economy.
The Perth-headquartered company has also pledged to undertake a socio-economic study to help inform requirements for the project and will share the report with local authorities, port authorities and government in 2021.
The initial feedback received during this first phase of public consultation will help inform the ongoing design of the Berwick Bank proposal.
Following any project revisions, SSE expects a further round of public exhibitions to take place in Spring 2021 before consent applications are submitted later that year.
If consented for development, and subject to a final investment decision by SSE Renewables, construction could begin in 2024, with Berwick Bank generating first power in 2027 and fully operational by 2028.
Louise Davis, consents team manager for Berwick Ban, said: “At SSE Renewables we’re leading Scotland’s green recovery and taking action to tackle climate change. Our multi-billion-pound investments in new world-class offshore and onshore wind energy sites in Scotland are helping drive a cleaner and more resilient Scottish and UK economy, and powering the push to a net-zero carbon future.
“Today, we’re unveiling plans for our new Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm which could have an installed capacity of up to 2.3GW, making it one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms if constructed.
“The proposed development would be capable of powering 3.5 million homes with renewable energy each year, more than all the homes in Scotland, and cutting the country’s annual carbon emissions by around 4 million tonnes, equivalent to removing two thirds of all cars from Scottish roads. In this way, Berwick Bank would help make a major impact on meeting the country’s net-zero carbon emissions target by 2045^.
“At this point in our consenting process for a project we would traditionally hold village and townhall exhibitions but, due to Covid-19 and current advice regarding holding events in person, we have moved all our exhibition material online.
“To support the public in finding out more about Berwick Bank we are also hosting a series of live chats online where members of our project will be available to answer questions. Through this virtual public consultation and exhibition process we are looking forward to meeting local residents and community groups, to showcasing our Berwick Bank Wind Farm proposals, and to receiving early-stage feedback from local communities and consultees.”
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