Blow for offshore wind project
DEVELOPERS behind the offshore Moray West wind farm have insisted that the project remains viable – despite a bidding setback.
Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) Limited, known as Moray West, missed out on winning a Contract for Difference (CfD) as part of the UK Government’s latest CfD auction.
The project, led by Portuguese utility firm EDPR and French firm ENGIE, had placed competitive bids on a range of scenarios.
Moray West was one of eight offshore wind bidders in the auction, alongside other technology projects.
Moray West gained planning consents from the Scottish Government, Moray Council and Aberdeenshire Council in summer 2019. The project team is now aiming for Moray West to be awarded a CfD in the next auction round in 2021 and be on course for construction to begin in 2024.
Dan Finch, Moray West director, said they would continue to develop the project in anticipation of the next auction round. He added: "Despite this setback, it is a significant achievement to get the project to such an advanced stage in a short period of time.
"We continue to look forward to taking Moray West into its construction phase and delivering significant economic opportunities for Scotland and the UK.
"We’re confident that Moray West is able to become a key piece of Scotland’s energy transition story. There is an opportunity for Scotland’s energy targets to be met in future by Scottish offshore wind farms and for Moray West to be a key step on that journey."
The development is a sister project following on from the delivery the adjacent 100-turbine Moray East Offshore Windfarm, which was granted consent in 2014, won a CfD in 2017, and is now in construction.
The Moray Firth zone was split into two in 2010, enabling Moray East to be developed ahead of Moray West, as there were constraints in the west of the zone. Development of Moray West started in 2016 when these constraints were eased.