ICOL’s Offshore Wind Farm will be located across a 15 to 22 kilometres (km) range to the east of the Angus coastline in Scotland (see Figure 2). Transmission infrastructure will connect ICOL’s Offshore Wind Farm to the NETS and will comprise the OnTW and OfTW. The components and all permanent and temporary works required to generate or transmit electricity from ICOL’s Offshore Wind Farm to the national grid are grouped as follows:
- ICOL’s Offshore Wind Farm which includes Wind Turbine Generators (WTG), inter-array cables
- The OfTW includes up to two Offshore Substation Platforms and Offshore Export Cables to shore; and
- The OnTW includes the underground Onshore Export Cables and an Onshore Substation (the subject of this application).
In July 2013 ICOL made applications under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to the Scottish Ministers (through Marine Scotland) to construct and operate the Original Offshore Wind Farm. In addition, applications for Marine Licences under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 were made for the Original Offshore Wind Farm and Offshore Transmission Works (OfTW). Consent was granted in 2014.
In July 2016 following a petition brought by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) the offshore consents were quashed. The Scottish Ministers successfully appealed this decision and in May 2017 the offshore consents were reinstated. RSPB filed an application to the Supreme Court seeking permission to appeal this decision. However, on the 6 November 2017 the Supreme Court ordered that permission to appeal be refused. The consent granted in 2014 is therefore valid.
ICOL is now in the process of preparing a new consent application for the Revised Offshore Wind Farm and OfTW which is being developed to take advantage of advancements in offshore wind technology to improve project efficiency while reducing associated environmental effects through the reduction in WTG numbers. In terms of location, the Revised Offshore Wind Farm and OfTW are comparable to the Consented Offshore Wind farm and OfTW. It should be noted that it is ICOL’s intention to construct either the Consented Offshore Wind Farm or the Revised Offshore Wind Farm, but not both.
A Scoping Report for the Revised Offshore Wind Farm and OfTW was submitted to the Scottish Ministers in April 2017, a copy of which is available online at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/marine/scoping/InchCape/InchCapeScoping2017
In September 2014 the Original OnTW received PPP from East Lothian Council (ELC) and was to be located to the south of the former Cockenzie Coal Store. As a result of further design work and feedback received during the course of the OnTW development, a potential alternative location for the OnTW was investigated. The result of this investigation is that ICOL no longer intends to pursue the Original OnTW as consented in 2014 and the current application is for the OnTW to be situated on the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station.