United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Vattenfall gives EOWDC go-ahead

UK: Vattenfall has made a final investment decision to build the £300 million (€357 million) European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Scotland, after years of legal delays.

Eleven MHI Vestas V164 turbines will be installed at the EOWDC project
Eleven MHI Vestas V164 turbines will be installed at the EOWDC project

Vattenfall has also acquired the entire project after buying the outstanding 25% share owned by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group for an undisclosed fee.

The 92.4MW project is set to use 11 MHI Vestas V164 turbines, with an optimised output of 8.4MW each. The turbines will be installed on suction-bucket foundations at the site three kilometres from Scotland's east coast in Aberdeen Bay.

"Vattenfall's green light for the EOWDC underlines our long-term ambition to grow our wind power capacity, including in the UK. The UK government believes that wind power should continue to provide an essential part of the UK's low-carbon electricity generation mix, and so we remain committed to expanding our UK operations. In particular, we are confident that the UK and Scottish governments will continue to support growth in offshore wind as the industry lowers the cost of energy significantly," said Vattenfall's head of wind, Gunnar Groebler.

The project is due online in 2018, the Swedish developer said. Vattenfall named its preferred suppliers for the site last week. On top of MHI Vestas, Boskalis has been appointed preferred balance-of-plant contractor to oversee construction and the installation of foundations and cabling.

And UK engineering firm J Murphy & Sons has been named preferred bidder to provide onshore infrastructure.

The project had suffered a number of setbacks, mostly due to legal challenges brought by US businessman Donald Trump, causing project completion back over two years. The project would be visible from a nearby Trump-owned golf course.

In a 2011 letter to then-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, Trump described the wind farm as a "useless eyesore" and said the 11-turbine project would be "disastrous and environmentally irresponsible".

Trump's third legal challenge to stop the EOWDC was defeated in December 2015. A panel of UK supreme court judges backed the Scottish government, which gave the go-ahead in 2013.

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