The Scottish Government has given consent to the massive Inch Cape wind farm project off the Angus coastline.
Friday’s decision also gave consent to three other North Sea locations, two off Angus and one off the Fife coast, and the government predicts the four projects could generate £314m to £1.2bn for the Scottish economy, and create tens of thousands of jobs, if they go ahead.
Angus MP Mike Weir welcomed the news saying: “There is a huge opportunity for our local economy to receive a substantial boost both in the construction phases of these windfarms and in the long term maintenance and operation of them.
“There is a wealth of talent in Angus in engineering and the cross over of skills developed for the North Sea Oil and Gas industry is obvious.
“This is a major opportunity that could provide long term sustainable good employment prospects throughout Angus and should be warmly welcomed by everyone.”
Mr Weir added that the wind farms would also add to the ability of Scotland and Angus to contribute to producing all our energy from renewables.
“As the issue of climate change becomes ever more urgent it is clear that we must move to more clean, green renewable energy. Scotland is well placed to be the renewable powerhouse of Europe and this consent is another step along the way to ensuring that all our electricity comes from renewable sources.”
He warned, however, that the developments still had to be bid for and contracts won to produce the energy.
“Under the new system introduced under the latest Energy Act all forms of energy now require to bid for contracts and the UK government’s obsession with expensive nuclear makes this more difficult for renewables.”
The Inch Cape site is 15km off the coast and will cover an area of approximately 150 square kilometres and consist of up to 213 individual turbines secured to the sea bed.
A network of low voltage electricity cables will be required to connect the wind turbines to an offshore substation platform which will collect the electricity and convert it for exportation to the national grid.