The energy future of North-East Scotland

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ABERDEEN’S proposed offshore turbine testing centre will provide hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and help secure the north-east of Scotland’s economic future, a spokesman told the Ellon Times on Monday.

David Rodgers of Vattenfall told the Times that, as well as providing clean electricity to half the homes in Aberdeen City, the project would serve to attract and retain talent in the north-east as the region moves from an oil based to a renewables based economy.

The project has been subject to heavy criticism from Trump International at Menie, who have argued that the project will spoil the views from the golf course being constructed at the site. Mr Trump has vowed to invest no further money into the site unless the offshore deployment centre plans are dropped.

The formal application for the project was submitted to Marine Scotland last August, with a decision by the Scottish Government expected later this year.

Speaking to the Times, David Rodger said: “We acknowledge the recent publicity surrounding the EOWDC proposal. The exchange of views for those for and against the proposal is important, and helps people to understand the arguments and to reach their own conclusions.

“The location of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre has been carefully chosen by project partners Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Technip and Vattenfall with input from a range of aviation and marine stakeholders and

following six years of investigation, public engagement and analysis. The channels of communication with the Trump Organisation remain open and we hope a constructive dialogue can continue.”

The prototype turbines are anticipated to be much larger than their onshore counterparts - with a potential generation capacity of around 10MW compared to the largest land-based turbines, which generally generate in the region of 2.2MW.

He added that the total investment made by stakeholders at the end of the project would be in the region of £200 million, with a potential knock on of £4 billion to the wider UK economy.

Mr Rodger concluded: “The EOWDC is widely supported by industry because it is recognised to be the kind of facility needed to unlock the potential of Scotland’s and the UK’s offshore wind potential and to establish Aberdeen as a “World Energy City.”

Meanwhile, in another letter to First Minister Alex Salmond, Mr Trump advised that the presence of offshore wind turbines would have a hugely detrimental impact on tourism to the country.

In a highly-charged letter, he also said that the First Minister’s legacy would be a negative one if he proceeded with plans to make Scotland self-sufficient in green energy.

Mr Trump states: “The monstrous industrial machines you want to litter all over the magnificent waters and shores of Scotland will destroy the environment and tourism sector. Ireland is very happy! Do you want to be known for centuries to come as ‘Mad Alex - the man who destroyed Scotland’?

“Remember what I said - if you pursue this craziness, Scotland will go broke and forever lose whatever chance you currently have of making Scotland independent. A bankrupt Scotland will always be reliant on others.

“Be smart and try and get yourself out of this mess.

“History has shown that the world’s greatest leaders were the ones that were able to change their minds through knowledge. Be one of them!”