Red Rock Power’s Inch Cape offshore windfarm has reached a key milestone ahead of its bid for a contract for difference in the UK’s latest auction
Red Rock Power’s Inch Cape offshore windfarm has reached a key milestone ahead of its bid for a contract for difference in the UK’s latest auction.
Plans submitted to the Scottish Government in August 2018 that will see fewer, larger, more efficient turbines installed at the offshore windfarm 15 km off the east coast of Scotland have been approved.
Red Rock Power business unit Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) is one of a number of developers in the UK that have submitted revised proposals for offshore windfarms in the last 12 months as manufacturers released details of new, larger, more powerful turbines. Even larger turbines than those recently proposed are understood to be in development and have attracted the interest of developers keen to use the most cost-effective technology.
In mid-April 2019 the companies behind the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B projects confirmed they had secured consent from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to use much larger turbines than they originally envisaged on the first stage of developing the Dogger Bank Zone. Weeks later, innogy confirmed it had secured consent to use turbines of similar capacity on its Sofia project, formerly known as Dogger Bank Teeside B.
The new design for the Inch Cape offshore windfarm is for up to 72 turbines rather than up to 110 as originally sought by ICOL.
The new proposal sees fewer, taller and higher capacity turbines, significantly improving the efficiency of the windfarm. This reduction, which will also reduce the number of export cables required, provides an opportunity to significantly cut construction time and costs to the end user. The new design, with less infrastructure requirements, also further decreases the risk of potential environmental impacts.
ICOL offshore consents manager Ben King said, “The opportunity to propose an alternative design, which will see significant economic benefits and reduced risk of environmental impacts, is testament to how new technology is continuing to transform the industry and bring improved benefits to the consumer.
“Securing approval is a key step forward ahead of our CfD bid and while our previous consent remains valid, the progression of our plans and work over the last few months very much focused around this new design.”
In a further step forward for the project, ICOL is currently conducting the second phase of its offshore site investigation in the Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth following initial works at the end of 2018.
The investigation has so far completed geotechnical studies and is expected to finalise a geophysical survey in July 2019, with seabed data informing the next detailed design phase of windfarm.
ICOL said the development is expected to bring at least £558M (US$700M) and 858 jobs to the UK economy during construction through the local supply chain. The company is currently finalising its assessment to locate its operations and maintenance base at a local port on the east coast, which will bring further considerable economic benefits to the local area for the duration of the windfarm.