The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has won a legal challenge to the granting of planning permissions to four major offshore wind farm developments.
The developments off the Scottish coast have caused concerns that they would kill too many birds from protected wildlife sites. The RSPB claim that the projects, in the firths of Forth and Tay, would together result in the deaths of “thousands of gannets, puffins, kittiwakes and other seabirds from iconic internationally protected wildlife sites like the Bass Rock and the Isle of May” each year.
As a result of the ruling, the projects which had a combined peak generating capacity of 2.3GW, involve the construction of over three hundred turbines and represent multi-billions of investment had their permissions overturned.
- The 784MW Inch Cape scheme, recently taken over by Chinese giant SDIC
- The 448MW Neart Na Gaoithe project, owned by Irish firm Mainstream Renewable Power
- The 1.05GW Alpha and Bravo projects, owned by the Seagreen, a joint venture between London-based utility SSE and US engineer Fluor.
Together the four arrays have an estimated inward investment value of between £7bn and £10bn ($9bn-14.3bn).
The decision could be a major setback for the projects concerned but is reportedly being appealed by the Scottish government and some project partners.