SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc) has decided to halt work on the development of its proposed offshore wind farm at Kintyre. West Coast development effort will be focused on the site off Islay. SSE was granted exclusive rights to develop both these sites by The Crown Estate in February 2009.
Initial site survey work and consultations relating to the wind farm planned to be developed 2km off the west coast of Kintyre have identified a number of factors that have led SSE to decide not to proceed further with the development of this site. These include: the wind resource; the proximity to Campbeltown Airport and local communities; and the impact on recreational sailing in the area.
Survey work undertaken so far indicates that this site, 13km off the west coast of Islay, is suitable for the development of a viable wind farm. SSE remains committed to developing the site although it presents a number of challenges resulting from difficult weather and seabed conditions.
These are not unique to Islay and SSE believes that it will be able to apply advances made in construction techniques and the technology being developed for Round Three offshore wind farms to overcome these challenges.
SSE expects to submit an application to develop the site to the Scottish Government around the end of 2013.
Colin Hood, Chief Operating Officer of SSE, said:
"SSE remains committed to developing offshore wind in the UK, with Greater Gabbard and Walney wind farms producing their first electricity in January. Our plans to develop the Galloper and Beatrice offshore sites are on course and we aim to submit applications to develop these sites within the next twelve months.
"Having assessed the wind resource, listened to the concerns of local residents, businesses and other stakeholders, and having regard to the impact of Campbeltown Airport and the recreational sailing community, we believe our decision to halt the development of the Kintyre site is the responsible course of action to take. We are grateful to everyone who took part in our consultations on the project."
"Islay has massive potential to contribute to the Scottish and UK governments' renewable energy targets. Our proposed timetable for developing this site will allow time for the innovative development of the offshore technology and construction techniques necessary to build a wind farm in such a challenging environment."