EDPR Seeks Permit for World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Development

EDP Renovaveis SA applied for a permit in Scotland to build the world’s biggest offshore wind project, larger than the capital city of Edinburgh and able to generate enough power to supply as many as 1 million homes.

The 1,500-megawatt development in waters off northeastern Scotland would be split into three wind farms, according to a document e-mailed today by Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd., EDPR’s partnership with Spanish oil company Repsol SA. They would cover an area of 114 square miles (296 square kilometers).

The project is the first to seek planning permission among 32,200 megawatts of proposed wind farms that won licenses in the U.K.’s third round of approvals in January 2010. The country is seeking to meet local carbon-cutting goals and a European Union target to get 15 percent of all energy from renewables by 2020.

“We’re marking a watershed moment as Round Three starts to become a reality,” Maria McCaffery, chief executive officer of lobby RenewableUK, said in an e-mailed statement. “Offshore wind can provide tens of thousands of jobs across the country.”

Dong Energy A/S and SSE Plc’s 367-megawatt Walney plant off the coast of northwest England is the biggest completed offshore wind project. The first 630-megawatt part of Dong’s London Array Project with EON AG and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s state-run renewables company, is being built, with another 370 megawatts approved.

EDPR, based in Madrid, plans to install 189 to 339 turbines, depending on their size. Building the farms, which the Scotsman newspaper earlier said would cost 4.5 billion pounds ($7.2 billion), would begin in 2016, 2017 or 2018, and 2019.

Scotland’s government received the planning application on Aug. 9 and began a consultation on Aug. 28, Marine Scotland, the state body that deals with such requests, said today by e-mail.

The U.K. has about 2,000 megawatts of installed wind power at sea and is targeting 18,000 megawatts by 2020. Scotland aims to meet all of its electricity demand from renewables by 2020.

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