Swedish energy company Vattenfall has announced it will invest more than £300m to build an innovative offshore wind farm at Aberdeen.
Following the purchase of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group’s share in the project, the proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen bay will now be 100 per cent owned by Vattenfall.
Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Wind at Vattenfall, said: 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 new UK and Scottish governments will continue to support growth in offshore wind as the industry lowers the cost of energy significantly.”
Aberdeenshire’s Democratic Independent and Green Group councillors have welcomed the move by Vattenfall.
Councillor Martin Ford said: “The additional investment by Vattenfall is the clearest possible signal of the company’s intention to proceed with the EOWDC. The delays to the project have been frustrating, but a start to the construction phase now looks to be only months away.
“The economic and environmental case for investment in renewables is overwhelming. The EOWDC represents a real gain for the future of the North-east.”
Fellow councillor Paul Johnston said: “This off-shore wind demonstration project is hugely important for the future development of the energy industry in the North-east.”
North East MSP Mike Rumbles has also welcomed the news: “Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group and Vattenfall have made a concrete commitment to investing in offshore renewables in the North East and this facility will be the largest of its kind in Scotland.
Onshore construction near Blackdog will start later this year and is due to be finished late next year with offshore work due to commence in late 2017.
The project is scheduled to generate first power in spring 2018 and operate for 20 years or more.