The developer behind a £1.2 billion wind farm is proposing to install some of the largest turbines in the world off the coast of Angus.
The proposed 290 metre tall structures would dwarf the towers on the the newly completed Queensferry Crossing and, at maximum rotor tip height, only just fall short of the height of the 310-metre Shard in London, the UK’s tallest building and the fourth largest in Europe.
The huge turbines are specified within a new planning application being made for the proposed Inch Cape wind farm, which is planned to be constructed within a 150 square kilometre offshore zone which will be visible from Arbroath seafront and much of the Angus coast.
The development was first consented in 2013 but developer Inch Cape Offshore Limited ( ICOL) is now seeking to revise consents to take advantage of improvements in technology over the past five years.
“New learnings and technological advances create an opportunity for us to improve on the original proposals,” said Ian Johnson, ICOL project manager.
“With an approved proposal already under our belt this wasn’t something we were required to do, but felt it was important to integrate new advances where possible and consider what we’ve learnt since our existing consent was granted in 2013 that could further minimise our impacts.
“We look forward to engaging with local communities again to discuss our new proposal and answer any questions they may have.”
The new application to Marine Scotland is supported by a detailed environmental impact assessment document.
It envisages a scheme with a maximum of 72 turbines – fewer than the 110 in the original application – with a maximum blade tip height iof 291m and a rotor diamater of 250m.
Those figures have risen from the prior proposal of a maximum tip height of 215m and a rotor diameter of 172m.
The updated application also seeks a reduction from six to two in the number of export cables transferring electricity from the site down to Cockenzie power station in East Lothian.
ICOL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power Limited, which is itself part of State Development and International Corporation (SDIC) Power Holdings of China.
Inch Cape is one of three proposed major wind arrays in the Outer Firths of Tay and Forth, with Neart Na Gaoithe being the most advanced.