Seagreen Wind Energy, the joint venture between SSE and Fluor (UK) Limited, has made a proposal to vary the consent it received for two windfarms in the Firth of Forth to take account of the ongoing development of larger turbines.
Seagreen was awarded the exclusive development rights for the Firth of Forth Zone by The Crown Estate in the UK’s Round 3 offshore windfarm development programme.
However, since the original consent application in 2012 on which the 2014 decision was based, there has been considerable development in offshore windfarm design, driven largely by increases in wind turbine size and generation capacity and by developments in foundation design.
Seagreen is therefore considering its options to progress the Seagreen Alpha and Seagreen Bravo offshore windfarms with potential modifications to the consents to incorporate these design developments and parameters of the larger wind turbines. This could enable Seagreen to achieve the windfarm generating capacity using a reduced number of wind turbines or to increase the overall generating capacity of the windfarms.
In order to progress modification to the consents, Seagreen appointed Niras as its environmental impact assessment co-ordinator. The EIA works are underway and completion and submission to Marine Scotland is expected in May 2018.
The company has undertaken a consultation process and recently confirmed plans for public exhibitions. The consented Seagreen Alpha and Seagreen Bravo Projects were 525 MW capacity windfarms with a combined capacity of 1,050 MW. They were based on the use of up to 75 wind turbines in each project using jacket, gravity base or suction caisson foundations.
The revised projects foresee windfarms of approximately 750 MW capacity (approximately 1500 MW combined capacity), up to 75 wind turbines of up to 167 m rotor diameter in each project or up to 70 wind turbines, of up to 220 m rotor diameter, in each project (up to 120 in total).