Inch Cape Offshore Limited – operational update

In the next few days, weather permitting, East Lothian residents may see the arrival of a jack-up vessel, operated by contractors Fugro, which will begin a programme of near-shore survey work not far from the coast at Cockenzie on behalf of Inch Cape Offshore Limited.

The information gathered will be used to inform detailed design work and ultimately the construction process.  The wind farm will be Scotland’s largest single source of renewable power when built, with up to 72 turbines generating the equivalent of the annual demand of more than 1 million homes.

Image: Fugro

Inch Cape wind farm applies to extend planning consent

Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm has applied to East Lothian Council to extend the deadline for the submission of detailed proposals on the design of their onshore substation at Cockenzie, which has been delayed due to Covid-19.

The application will allow the company more time to develop the final designs for the substation, in order to meet conditions included in the planning permission in principle granted in 2019.

In August, Inch Cape ran a number of online consultation events to seek local views on the planning extension, including live interactive chat sessions and a dedicated consultation webpage.

You can find all of the application documents in the Library on this website.

Scottish businesses invited to Inch Cape offshore wind event

Scottish businesses, particularly in East Lothian, Fife and Tayside are being invited to an online event where they can find out more about the opportunities offered by the Inch Cape offshore wind farm – which will see up to 72 turbines located 15 km off the Angus coast and connect to the National Grid at Cockenzie.

The September 16 event, run by Inch Cape, Xodus Group and Scottish Enterprise in association with the Forth & Tay Offshore Cluster, is a chance for local businesses to understand how they can engage with what will become a £multi-million project in the middle years of this decade.

Commenting on the event, Adam Ezzamel, Project Director at Inch Cape, says: “Offshore wind presents a significant opportunity for businesses of all sizes in Scotland, but it is hard for many medium and smaller enterprises to understand how to engage and tender for work.

“In common with all major infrastructure projects, a high proportion of contracts will be awarded to large ‘tier one’ suppliers. However, each of these suppliers will in turn be reliant on multiple specialist subcontractors, and this is where local businesses can play to their strengths.

“For these businesses, this event will explain Scotland’s ‘Cluster Builder’ initiative, led by offshore wind supply chain experts Xodus, which works with Scotland’s two offshore wind clusters – Forth & Tay Offshore and DeepWind – to support the Scottish supply chain to target opportunities in offshore wind.

“At the same time, Inch Cape is keen to contract directly with specialist suppliers of all sizes if they can introduce new technologies and innovative ways of working with a focus on lowering the cost of energy on the project and reducing construction time, cost and carbon footprint whilst prioritising health and safety,” Ezzamel concludes.

Shona Clive, Project Lead, Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster said:

“Scottish Engineering, as the newly appointed Cluster Manager for the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster, is delighted to be supporting the Inch Cape procurement event. The Inch Cape project is right in the heart of the Forth and Tay geographic area, home to world leading offshore engineering companies which are well positioned to support this major multi-million pound project.

“This event, followed by a series of other more discipline-specific events, will help to inform local SMEs and those further afield about the huge scope of opportunities arising from the construction and long-term operation of the Inch Cape Wind Farm.”

Hannah Collings, Project Manager for Cluster Builder, Lead Renewables Consultant at Xodus, said:

“The Cluster Builder is excited to collaborate with Inch Cape to provide a timeline for Scottish SMEs on when and how to get involved with the next generation of offshore wind projects. The Cluster Builder’s role is to signpost SMEs to relevant initiatives, provide market intelligence and help prepare for tendering opportunities.  For this event we will be working alongside the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster to support SMEs to get the most of out of the future tier one tendering sessions.”

The event will take place from 10-11am on Thursday 16th September and a link to register can be found at www.inchcapewind.com/supply-chain

The Offshore Wind Cluster Builder project is part-funded by the 2014–2020 European Structural and Investment Fund.

Local views sought on Inch Cape onshore plans

Local views are being sought on extending the deadline for the design of Inch Cape’s onshore substation which has been delayed due to Covid-19.

The company plans to apply for more time to come up with detailed designs for the Cockenzie substation, in order to meet conditions included in the planning permission in principle granted by East Lothian Council over two years ago.

A dedicated consultation webpage will be live on the project website www.inchcapewind.com from 9th – 31st August 2021 and will include a link to a feedback form where comments and questions, as well as requests for further information can be submitted directly to the project team.

In addition, live interactive chat sessions will also take place between 14:00 – 16:00 hrs and 18:00 – 20:00 hrs on both Thursday 12th August and Thursday 19th August 2021.

A chat icon will appear on the consultation webpage during those times, enabling members of the public to post questions.

Alternatively anyone can email info@inchapewind.com with any queries.

Nikki Keddie, Stakeholder Manager at Inch Cape Offshore Limited, said:

“The project has planning permission in principle for the onshore substation and related works which was granted in 2019. However this permission expires in 2022 and we now intend to apply for more time to finalise the design of the substation and to submit the information required in the conditions attached to the consent.

“Our consultation events are an opportunity for local people to find out more about this process and to offer their views. All are welcome to attend and participate.”

If you do have questions or comments on the proposal, Inch Cape request that these be submitted either live during the chat sessions, via the feedback form or directly by email by no later than 5pm on 31st August 2021.

The formal Pre-Application Consultation advert can be found here.

Capacity cap removed for Inch Cape offshore wind project

Scottish Ministers have agreed to vary the section 36 consent granted to Inch Cape Offshore Ltd – removing the 1000MW maximum generating capacity of their 72-turbine offshore wind project located off the Angus coastline.

The variation of consent does not increase the number of turbines and will not affect any of the other permissions or consents currently in place.

Commenting on the variation, Adam Ezzamel, Project Director, Inch Cape Offshore Wind Ltd, said:

“This is an important part of getting the project into shape as we look to compete in the auction for government-backed contracts for renewable energy later this year. Whilst this doesn’t change the number of turbines we can deploy, or maximum tip heights, it will allow us to use the most powerful wind turbines on the market, meaning we can produce more power at an even lower cost for consumers from the same overall layout.

“The auction is going to be incredibly competitive and likely to see a further reduction in the cost of offshore wind, so we need to optimise every single aspect of the project if we are to succeed.”

The decision notice can be found in the Library.

Dolphin Spotters Wanted!

Do you like nothing better than gazing out to sea, to see what you can see?  If so, you may be able to help with a fascinating project being undertaken up and down the North Sea coastline!

Citizenfins is looking for your photographs of bottlenose dolphins!  For years these amazing marine mammals have been viewed off the east coast of Scotland, particularly in places like the Moray Firth and the Firth of Forth, but recently this population has expanded south into English waters!

Inch Cape Offshore Ltd is delighted to be helping fund the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) with this work. To expand on their dedicated survey programme SMRU need your help to monitor the bottlenose dolphins! They’re looking for your photos, taken off South East Scotland and along the North East coast of England, of the dolphin’s dorsal fins to help understand the extent of the range expansion. Further information is available in this leaflet and to learn more about the long-established photo ID project monitoring the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphin population visit their website https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/citizenfins