LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - SSE and Fluor applied to the Scottish government to build and operate the first phase of their planned 3.5 gigawatt (GW) Firth of Forth offshore wind farm, one of the biggest being planned in Britain.
Scotland-based utility SSE and U.S. engineering company Fluor said on Tuesday they sought consent for two wind farm areas, with a capacity of 525 megawatts each, which represent the first of three phases in the project.
The joint venture, which operates under the name of Seagreen Wind Energy, is one of nine partnerships planning Britain’s biggest offshore wind farms.
“This is an important milestone for the Seagreen consortium in developing the Firth of Forth Zone, Scotland’s largest renewable energy project,” said Richard Escott, head of offshore development at SSE Renewables.
Phases 2 and 3 will add another five wind farm areas to the project of around 2.6 GW and construction is expected to start in 2016 and 2018 for each phase respectively, if consents are given.
Guaranteed government subsidies for renewable energy production have encouraged developers to come forward with project proposals which the government hopes will help it meet legally-binding carbon reduction targets.
Britain has to generate 15 percent of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020 and around 30 GW of offshore wind capacity is expected to produce green power by then, compared with around 2.4 GW available now.