SSE Renewables is to combine two of its proposed North Sea wind farms in order to create one “super project”.
Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms, off the east coast of Scotland, have been brought together into one single entity – now known as Berwick Bank Wind Farm.
It’s hoped the move will help to accelerate Scotland’s net zero ambitions and help tackle climate change.
With a potential output of 4.1GW, Berwick Bank Wind Farm would more than double the size of current offshore wind – either in construction or operational – in Scotland at the moment.
It would also increase the country’s overall renewable energy capacity by nearly 30%.
The project will be capable of generating enough power to meet the needs of over five million homes, avoiding eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year – similar to removing all of Scotland’s annual car emissions.
Berwick Bank Wind Farm is already at an advanced stage of development, with a planning application expected to go to the Scottish Government in Spring 2022.
If consented and greenlit for construction, it could begin generating clean electricity in the second half of this decade.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for net zero and climate change said: “Decarbonising our energy demands is a vital component of our just transition to net-zero and our world-leading renewables sector will play a vital role in this.
“The continuing growth of offshore wind over the next decade will be crucial to meeting our incredibly stretching, near-term climate targets, and we will need to work innovatively, at pace and with agility to do so.
“I welcome this announcement from SSE Renewables which demonstrates their commitment to helping Scotland’s contribution to climate change within a generation.”
SSE Renewables has launched a new website where stakeholders, suppliers and members of the public, including communities in East Lothian, can find out more details about the project.
It’s been developed following public consultation with local communities and key stakeholders earlier this year.
Alex Meredith, SSE Renewables’ Berwick Bank project director said: “For Scotland’s Climate Week, we wanted to highlight that faster delivery will help Scotland and the UK hit 2030 offshore wind targets, enable net zero in Scotland by 2045 and see the UK continue to lead the world in large-scale offshore wind deployment.
“By combining the two project proposals into a super project we believe we can deliver Berwick Bank Wind Farm – one of the world’s largest offshore wind opportunities – more quickly.
“We’re proud of our track record of support and benefits that our projects bring to the Scottish and UK supply chains. With Berwick Bank our ambition is to utilise as many local, Scottish and UK based suppliers where possible throughout all stages of development, construction, and operation.
“That’s why we believe the size of Berwick Bank represents a huge opportunity to secure a multi-billion-pound investment in the Scottish and UK supply chain, bringing a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all sizes and disciplines.”