Offshore Consents – Original Application
In 2009, three years of offshore environmental surveys commenced to gather information on habitats and species, physical conditions and human activities at the NnG site.
This information was collected to inform a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which was submitted with an application for consent for the offshore elements. This information is set out in an Environmental Statement, which can be viewed on the ‘downloads’ section of this website.
The application for consent for the offshore elements of the project was submitted to the Scottish Ministers (Marine Scotland) in July 2012. Consent was granted in October 2014.
In January 2015 a Judicial Review of the Scottish Ministers’ consenting process was raised by the RSPB, which delayed NnG along with three other offshore wind farm projects.
The RSPB’s concerns were initially upheld in a decision of the Outer House of the Court of Session in July 2016. This was appealed by the Scottish Ministers and in May 2017 the Inner House overturned the original decision, resulting in the reinstatement of the consents. In June 2017 the RSPB sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court which was denied by the Inner House. In August 2017, the RSPB sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in London directly which was subsequently refused on Tuesday, 7 November. The Supreme Court’s decision to refuse RSPB Scotland’s application to appeal the Scottish Court’s earlier ruling clears the way to proceed with the construction of the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm. Read the full press statement here.
Offshore Consents – New Application
A new application for consent will be submitted to Marine Scotland in the coming months. This will allow for an updated design for the offshore elements to incorporate recent advances in technology. Central to this is the inclusion of higher capacity turbines, meaning that fewer turbines are required to generate the same output. The updated design will comprise a maximum of 54 turbines, compared with the maximum of 125 turbines in the original application.
Onshore Planning Permission
An application for the onshore grid connection infrastructure was submitted to East Lothian Council in November 2012. This includes 12.3 km of buried cable and a new substation. Planning permission was granted in June 2013.