Birds scupper £2bn offshore wind farm

Posted: May 12, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, government, wind
Tags: ,

Scottish offshore wind project [image credit :]

Scottish offshore wind project [image credit :]

The project is certainly on the ropes but a knockout punch may not yet have been applied, as the report explains.
H/T Daily Telegraph

A £2 billion offshore wind farm is set to be scrapped after it lost a Government subsidy contract due to an ongoing legal challenge over its impact on birds.

The proposed Neart na Gaoithe wind farm would see 64 turbines built nine miles off the coast of Fife and was one of only two offshore wind projects to win a subsidy contract from the Government last year.

Under the terms of the contract, £200 million had to be committed to the project by a deadline of March 26. But developer Mainstream Renewable Power said it was unable to do so while the wind farm was still subject to a legal challenge by the RSPB, which claimed the 646-feet tall turbines, together with others proposed in the area, would be among “the most deadly for birds anywhere in the world”.

Wildlife groups fear the wind farms could kill large numbers of gannets from the nearby Bass Rock colony, the largest in the world. While a Scottish judge hearing the case has yet to decide whether planning permission should be revoked, it appears the challenge in itself may have succeeded in killing off the project.

Full report: Birds scupper £2bn offshore wind farm

  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘the 646-feet tall turbines’ would be about twice as high as a football (soccer) pitch is long.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Just came across this [bold added by me]:

    Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and Electricity Settlements Company (ESC) are private limited companies, owned by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

    Operating from its Central London headquarters, the Low Carbon Contracts Company has been established by Government to implement key elements of the Electricity Market Reform scheme (EMR) – the biggest change to face the UK electricity sector since privatisation. This involves working with a variety of commercial stakeholders as well as balancing the role of being a Government owned company.

    As part of the EMR programme the Low Carbon Contracts Company manage a scheme called Contracts for Difference (CFD), designed to help attract the £110bn of investment needed to replace energy infrastructure and achieve our 2020 goals to decarbonise the electricity sector.

    Contracts for Difference

    CFDs offer security to electricity generators to be able to sell energy from renewable and low carbon sources into the market at a reduced exposure to fluctuating electricity prices, Contracts for Difference will provide a variable top-up from the market price to a pre-agreed strike price. At times where the market price exceeds the strike price, the electricity generator is required to pay back the difference, thus protecting consumers from over-payment.

    Are there any other examples of the UK government owning PLCs?

  3. Fanakapan says:

    So the bottom line is that they couldn’t raise their side of the money 🙂

    As I’ve said here before, its highly probable that the ‘Smart Money’ has already smelt the end of the boondoggle coming, and is not prepared to risk capital on a venture that might be faced with the imperative to be profitable on its own account, which of course it could never be.

    I’d imagine the RSPB excuse is being used as a face saver to enable the promoters to have some hope of promoting other Unicorn schemes ?

  4. catweazle666 says:

    “private limited companies, owned by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)”

    I believe that is called ‘Corporatism’.

    Note in particular the first paragraph.

  5. Martin Elliott says:

    “Are there any other examples of the UK government owning PLCs?”

    How nieve you are. Start with HS2 ltd.

  6. oldbrew says:

    UK renewables subsidies are not under control…

    ‘Unless the decision is overthrown at arbitration, the scrapping of the wind farm is likely to help ease pressure on the Government’s budget for renewable energy subsidies, which is currently on track to be overspent.’ – Telegraph

  7. […] Source: Birds scupper £2bn offshore wind farm | Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

  8. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Seabirds snafu Scottish subsidy scheming 🙂

  9. gymnosperm says:

    Just for the sake of argument let’s just pretend the windmills were not bird Cuisinart’s. Let’s just pretend they could potentially produce enough energy to lift the third world to a decent standard of living.

    What would be the effect of retarding the planetary wind system to power our toaster ovens?

    Dude, if you think a linear triatomic molecule that warms the surface thermometers and cools everything above the tropopause is a problem…

  10. […] Source: Birds scupper £2bn offshore wind farm […]

  11. jim says:

    A part I have never found anything on. How does a turbine, as such, modify the weather downwind? It decreases the windspeed, like a tree, but what other modifications of the weather are incurred? Trees add moisture to the air, help keep the wind off the ground, and aid the soil. Turbines are a elevated above the tree lines, create noise pollution, and obstruct a nice natural scene.

  12. Gerry, England says:

    And people blame privatisation for our energy problems. We have the most government controlled ‘free market’ in the world. Having demonised fossil fuel, hit it with taxes, promised to phase out not just coal but gas as well, biased the market so that fossil fuel generation is not economic, the government wonders why there have been no takers to build new power stations. So of course in their mental world, having thrown taxpayers’ cash at windmills and solar, now they are having to do the same for gas to try to get new plant and even stop existing ones from being closed. Noted a small piece in CityAM saying that electricity hit £1250/Mwh last Monday due to outages at ageing power stations. Normal Summer price £50!

  13. Fanakapan says:


    Your comment seems to contradict itself by mentioning the disparity of normal summer prices, and yet claiming too much control of a ‘Free Market’ ?

    Its a distinct possibility is it not, that the Private Companies that currently provide power are manipulating the situation to make more money from scarcity ?

    The prioritisation of profit has led the PowerCo’s into putting off infrastructure renewal, and complaisance, safe in the knowledge that should things hit the buffers there’ll be no comeback on those who have effectively taken several leaves from the book of Enron ?

    Strange is it not that if power generation were in the hands of say an entity such as the old CEGB, then the threat of humiliation and ignominy to those running it would likely ensure better results than we now experience.

    As for the Energy sector in the UK being over regulated, I think you’ll find that the USA regulates to a far higher degree, and has done since even before the Enron affair ?