East Lothian Council has granted planning permission in principle for SSE Renewables’ proposed Berwick Bank offshore wind farm onshore transmission infrastructure and grid connection at Branxton, south of Dunbar, Scotland.
Securing planning consent in principle for the onshore grid network will enable renewable energy generated by the proposed offshore wind farm to be transmitted to the national grid via onshore cable infrastructure and a new substation at Branxton.
SSE Renewables said that this is a major milestone for the project as it represents the first planning consent for the Berwick Bank offshore wind farm to be granted.
The developer says it will follow up this planning consent in principle with a detailed design planning application to East Lothian Council in due course.
“With consent now granted from East Lothian Council for planning permission in principle, we can progress to a detailed design which will allow us to build the infrastructure required to support the conversion of clean, green energy into the national grid,” said Alex Meredith, SSE Renewables Berwick Bank Project Director.
An application for consent for the offshore infrastructure needed to develop the project is currently before the Scottish Government with the developer hoping to receive a final determination from the government in the new year, according to SSE Renewables.
If consented in a timely manner, it could pave the way for Berwick Bank to enter the next round of the UK’s renewable energy auctions, Allocation Round 6 (AR6).
SSE Renewables is targeting a final investment decision on the project in 2025, subject to receiving a timely consent and offtake contract.
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Berwick Bank offshore wind farm, set to be located roughly 38 kilometres off the East Lothian coast in Scotland, could generate up to 4.1 GW of power, making it the largest offshore wind farm planning application to be submitted in the UK and one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world currently in development.
If approved for delivery, the project could provide a multi-billion-pound investment boost to the Scottish and UK supply chain.
If fully delivered, Berwick Bank would increase Scotland’s overall renewable energy capacity in operation today by nearly 30 per cent and would be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power over six million homes annually, said SSE Renewables.
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