EOWDC delayed by two years

The backers of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre have delayed the project’s planned grid-connection date until 2017, pointing to the ongoing challenges posed by onshore planning and the legal assault by US tycoon Donald Trump.

The delay means that EOWDC, backed by Vattenfall and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and sited in Scotland's Aberdeen Bay, may no longer be relevant for some next-generation turbines slated to come onto the market over the next few years.

The 11-turbine project was designed to test a number of “first run of production” offshore wind turbines to be used at Round 3 projects.

EOWDC was due in October to begin paying National Grid for its grid-connection, and had unsuccessfully lobbied the government to see it if would cover the cost, according to industry sources.

“The project partners have always been aware that its aspirations to generate first power by late 2015 might not be in step with the progress of the project, and indeed that of the industry,” acknowledges Peter Wesslau, UK country manager for Vattenfall.

Vattenfall and AREG "now expect to connect the wind farm up to two years after originally scheduled following acceptance of an offer from National Grid", the developers said in a statement today.

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.

The announcement comes just weeks after local councillors rejected the project’s proposed onshore substation and the Court of Session in Edinburgh began hearing Trump’s appeal against the Scottish government’s March 2013 decision to approve the EOWDC.