EOWDC wins onshore appeal

The Vattenfall-led plan to build the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off Aberdeenshire received a boost when the Scottish government overturned a previous block on onshore work associated with the 11-turbine project.

The October 2013 rejection by councillors of plans for a substation to serve the EOWDC was a further headache for the project, which although consented offshore has run into considerable local opposition – not least from US tycoon Donald Trump who fears its impact on his golf course.

But the Scottish government today backed the EOWDC’s appeal, allowing the onshore work to continue with certain conditions.

The EOWDC is being jointly developed by Vattenfall and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, along with consortium partner Technip.

It is planned as a testing ground for next-generation wind turbines to be used at UK Round 3 offshore projects.

However, the planned grid-connection date for EOWDC has already been bumped back to 2017, leaving it on an increasingly tight timetable to be of use to the turbines it hopes to attract.

Despite the delay, the developers insist that the project will remain “strategically important” to the European offshore wind sector, adding that they will continue to “explore opportunities” for an earlier connection date than 2017.