Firth of Forth wind farm: Plans for one of world’s biggest wind farms with 307 offshore turbines
The plans lodged by energy giant SSE have the potential to create 6,000 full time equivalent jobs. A planning application to Angus Council for the Berwick Bank “super project” outlines a wind farm of up to 307 offshore turbines at a site east of Fife in the outer Firth of Forth. It could be up and running as early as 2026, and have a lifespan of up to 35 years.
SSE said that could generate £8.3 billion for the UK economy and that the 4.1GW output is “essential to close the gap” on the Scottish Government’s offshore wind target of 11GW by 2030.
Located around 40 kilometres off the Fife and East Lothian coastlines, the scheme would be capable of generating enough green energy to power more than double the number of households in Scotland.
The giant array – an amalgamation of earlier Berwick Bank and Marr Bank proposals covering 1,313 square kilometres – is already at an advanced stage of development after 10 years of research and analysis. A grid connection has already been secured at Branxton, near Torness, in East Lothian.
Documents lodged as part of the planning application said there were “no alternative opportunities” in Scottish waters, and nowhere else has the potential to deliver the same capacity within the proposed timeframe - but the massive development could have a significant impact on wildlife, including the Forth’s already under pressure seabird populations.
SSE filed a scoping report in September 2021. At that time, Michael Matheson, Scotland’s energy and net zero secretary, welcomed the plans.
The Scotsman reported: “Decarbonising our energy demands is a vital component of our just transition to net-zero and our world-leading renewables sector will play a vital role in this.
“The continuing growth of offshore wind over the next decade will be crucial to meeting our incredibly stretching, near-term climate targets, and we will need to work innovatively, at pace and with agility to do so.”
Councillors will consider the application in due course.