Onshore planning boost for Beatrice

Partners SSE and Repsol have secured preliminary consent to develop the onshore transmission work needed to connect their giant Beatrice offshore wind farm to the Scottish grid.

Joint venture development company Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) got planning permission in principle from Moray Council at a meeting held yesterday.

Beatrice, sited in Scottish waters in the outer Moray Firth, will boast a capacity of up to 1GW if it goes ahead as planned some 11km beyond the Beatrice demonstrator project, where two REpower 5MW machines have been spinning since 2007

The onshore transmission works will comprise approximately 20km of underground cable from a landfall point to the west of Portgordon and a new substation at Blackhillock near Keith.

The developer will submit a detailed onshore proposal for Moray Council’s full approval once the wind farm’s design is finalised.

BOWL still needs approval from the Scottish Government for the offshore element of the project, which the two partners hope will enter service in 2017.

The development is 75% owned by Scottish utility SSE and 25% by Spain’s Repsol.