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Question over Firth of Forth windfarm

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The company behind a huge £2n billion windfarm proposed for the outer Firth of Forth is pressing ahead despite a major question over the project’s subsidy.

The Neart na Gaoithe wind farm is the subject of a legal challenge by RSPB Scotland over its threat to seabirds.

The Court of Session is carrying out a judicial review, and the time taken to address the issue has led to the project being delayed.

The Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC), a group established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has now issued a termination notice for the project’s subsidy.

The LCCC can take such action if schemes fail to meet agreed timetables.

Unless reversed, the decision to terminate the “Contract for Difference” (CfD) subsidy is likely to spell the end of the 448MW Neart na Gaoithe.

In that scenario, efforts to meet UK and Scottish carbon emissions targets from wind energy would be seriously undermined.

Mainstream Renewable Power, the company behind Neart na Gaoithe (NnG), said it is in arbitration with the LCCC over the terms of its CfD.

NnG served notice of dispute under the CfD contract on March 24th 2016.

A spokesman for Mainstream continued: “On March 29, 2016, LCCC issued a notice which, in its view, terminated the project’s CfD. NnG strongly disputes the validity of the termination notice.

“NnG continues to work hard to ensure that this £2 billion significant energy infrastructure project will be built as planned against a backdrop where the

Judicial Review process in respect of the Section 36 consent of four offshore wind farms, including NnG, under the Electricity Act 1989 is ongoing.”

Neart na Gaoithe would result in £1.1bn of spending in Scotland, with 500 jobs in construction and 100 staff needed over the 25 years it would be in operation.

Significant wind power-related work could come to Dundee if Neart Na Gaoithe, Inch Cape and Seagreen offshore wind arrays in the Firths of Tay and Forth are built.

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