Red Rock Power Forms New Inch Cape Joint Venture with ESB

  • Developer sells equal share of offshore wind farm project to ESB as it continues to progress forward
  • Inch Cape poised to play key role in Scotland’s green economic recovery and become one of the country’s largest single sources of renewable energy
Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power Limited has formed a 50:50 joint venture with ESB, the leading Irish energy group, for Inch Cape Offshore Limited and its offshore wind farm development.

The Red Rock Power – ESB partnership will harness both companies’ wealth of expertise within the wind energy sector and support their mutual growth ambitions as they continue to strengthen their respective UK wind portfolios, with the potential to collaborate on other projects in the future.

As well as powering up to one million homes and supporting both the UK and Scottish Governments’ net zero targets, Inch Cape is poised to play a key role in a green economic recovery through the creation of skilled jobs and opportunities for the local supply chain.

Guy Madgwick, Red Rock Power Limited CEO, said: “Inch Cape will, without a doubt, make a considerable impact on the country’s clean energy targets and create significant opportunities to support a green economic recovery. We look forward to working alongside our colleagues at ESB on the project and to applying synergies within our teams to drive the development forward to a successful build.”

Inch Cape is set to be constructed 15km off the Angus Coast in the East of Scotland and to become one of the country’s largest single sources of renewable energy. The project recently received approval to increase its capacity to up to one gigawatt having already secured both onshore and offshore consents in 2019. The wind farm will connect into the national grid at Cockenzie in East Lothian.

Jim Dollard, Executive Director Generation and Trading at ESB, welcomed the announcement. “We look forward to pooling our expertise and experience with a partner of the calibre of Red Rock Power to deliver the Inch Cape project. With consent for up to one gigawatt and 72 turbines, this is a milestone investment in offshore wind for ESB and our ambition to lead the transition to a low-carbon future. This builds on similar partnerships ESB has with leading renewable energy companies in developing offshore wind projects off the coast of Ireland and Great Britain.”

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Offshore wind in Scotland’s 462,000 km2 of waters will play a vital part in achieving our net zero ambitions while helping to drive a strong, green economic recovery. Inch Cape has the potential to significantly contribute to this recovery, to help deliver Scotland’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to support the Scottish supply chain. Therefore I welcome the partnership between Red Rock and ESB as the project moves forward to the next phase.

“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector. We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and support the wider decarbonisation of our energy system, including electrification of transport and heat.”

Madgwick added: “We sought a partner who shared our passion for renewable energy, supporting UK industry growth and tackling climate change. We are excited to be working with ESB and for the potential to collaborate on other projects in the future as we continue to expand our company both in the UK and across Europe.”

ESB, through its Brighter Future strategy to lead the transition to a low carbon future, has ramped up its investment and expertise in offshore wind generation, one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future.

Cockenzie land agreement reached for substation development as council seeks to maximise economic opportunities

An option agreement has been signed which will enable Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL), a subsidiary of Edinburgh based energy company, Red Rock Power Limited, to purchase a small part of the former Cockenzie Power Station site from East Lothian Council.

ICOL received Planning Permission in Principle from Scottish Ministers to build onshore transmission works at Cockenzie in February. The substation and associated infrastructure would be used to connect the proposed wind farm 15km off the Angus coast to the National Grid, thus making use of the existing grid connection at the former power station.

ICOL is continuing to work on options to significantly reduce the footprint of the onshore transmission works (by around two thirds, to approximately seven acres), as well as to move to the western part of the site. The final location, footprint and design of the works remain subject to further consultation. It is hoped ongoing collaboration will allow the majority of the former power station site to remain available for further development opportunities to boost the local economy.

The wider site was acquired by the council last year to support its ambitions for promoting economic growth in the local area and creating employment opportunities. The site is a key strategic component of the East Lothian Economic Development Strategy.

Monica Patterson, Depute Chief Executive, Partnerships and Community Services, East Lothian Council, said:

“East Lothian Council has continued to work closely with Red Rock Power and the Inch Cape Offshore Limited project team, and we are pleased to have reached an agreement which will enable a substantially smaller area of the western site to be purchased from the council.

“This means significant land will remain available for opportunities to boost the local economy and create employment opportunities. Having reached an agreement on land for the proposed onshore substation, we are progressing work to understand the full potential of the wider site in order to support growth of the local economy.”

The wind farm is expected to power at least half a million homes.

Guy Madgwick, CEO of Red Rock Power, added: “Reaching this agreement with East Lothian Council is a key milestone for the Inch Cape project and a significant step forward in our plans to deliver a project with such national economic importance as well as contributing significantly to Scotland’s renewable energy targets. We look forward to working with the council’s planning and development teams on the next phase of the consultation process.”

The purchase of the site will follow the progression of the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm project as a whole.  Further details of the option agreement are commercially confidential at this stage.

Inch Cape Project to host Substation Design and Community Artwork Information Events

  • ICOL team to hold events later this month to offer locals an opportunity to feedback on Transmission Works design concepts
  • Developer to launch community artwork project

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) is to hold community consultation events in Prestonpans and Port Seton later this month to give locals an opportunity to see visualisations of its proposed Onshore Transmission Works, share feedback and learn more about the next phase of the development.

Events will be held at the Prestonpans Community Centre on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 – 3-8pm and Port Seton Centre on Thursday 25th April 2019 – 3-8pm.

Inch Cape’s Onshore Consents Manager, Marie Adkins, said: “We would welcome the community’s feedback on potential design concepts for the Onshore Transmission Works to help inform our discussions and recommendations to East Lothian Council as part of the detailed design phase. We look forward to seeing locals at the upcoming events and answering any questions they may have.”

The design concepts for the substation, available to see as a 3D digital model at the event, have been created in line with Inch Cape’s ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ report and engineering limitations, as well as efforts to reduce the footprint of the works.

The team are also looking to consult with the community on a forthcoming art project on or around the site, something ICOL has committed to as part of the Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) consent. The project team hopes to call on local school pupils to submit ideas and will commission a local artist to deliver. More information will be shared at the community events.

Marie added: “We are excited to bring a new community art project to the local area. East Lothian and the Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton communities in particular, have a wealth of art and cultural heritage so we are keen to help create new installations for future generations. We look forward to working with a local artist to bring this to life.”

Local artists who may be interested in getting involved should contact inchcapewind@redrockpower.co.uk to learn more.

Inch Cape onshore planning application given green light by Scottish government

  • Scottish Ministers approve onshore plans following rigorous public inquiry process

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) is delighted to have taken another significant step in its efforts to bring a major offshore wind farm to the East of Scotland.

Today, 22nd February, the Scottish Government issued its decision regarding the planning application in principle for the onshore substation at the former Cockenzie Power Station site, East Lothian, following the submission of the Report to Ministers by the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Principal Reporter, Allison Coard, in January.

The report outlines that the benefits of the proposal: “are significant in terms of overall investment, support for climate change and the governments renewable energy targets as well as for employment opportunities in the construction phase.  In particular…the significant investment and employment opportunities associated with the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm are dependent on onshore transmission works.  Clearly sustainable economic development is an objective of the strategic and local development plan as well as national planning policy.”

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “The onshore planning consent is a key milestone in the ICOL project and will ensure the project can move forwards within the required timescales.

“We look forward to continuing the positive work we have been doing with East Lothian Council and the local communities in order to finalise plans and agreements and ensure construction can begin on time in 2020. The project will act as a positive catalyst in the local area as it continues to go through a period of change following the closure of the power station.”

Inch Cape offshore wind development announces supply chain commitments

  • Wind farm expected to bring up to £750m and 1,900 jobs to the UK economy, with opportunities available to Scottish and local businesses 
  • Local suppliers across Scotland and the UK invited to Supply Chain events in Aberdeen and Edinburgh later this month

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) has selected several tier one suppliers to work collaboratively together to deliver key elements of its proposed wind farm 15km off the Angus Coast in the East of Scotland, marking a significant step forward for the development.

Three companies will be responsible for the project’s electrical transmission systems package – GE’s Grid Solutions, NKT and Boskalis Subsea Cables & Flexibles – who will deliver and install the approx. 85 km 220 kV dual circuit AC export cables and both offshore and onshore substation infrastructure.  Preferred suppliers for the turbine and marine packages will be announced in due course. ICOL is also continuing to engage with local port authorities to confirm where the O&M base will be located.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “Announcing our preferred suppliers is a momentous step forward for the project and we hope government and industry alike will take this as a sign of confidence that we are in a favourable position to progress following consent and CFD eligibility.

“Our decision-making process was carefully informed by our demand for high quality products and services, as well as the need to create jobs and boost the renewables service industry here in Scotland and the UK. We are satisfied that we have achieved the right balance and would encourage local suppliers to maximise the opportunities that will be available to them.”

The wind farm development is expected to create up to a £241 million per annum boost to the UK economy and create up to 1,900 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the three year construction period. UK and particularly Scottish based businesses within the renewables sector are encouraged to attend the ICOL supply chain events, organised in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, to meet the ICOL team and their preferred suppliers, and learn more about the potential opportunities available to them and their local area.

Local businesses operating within the renewables and energy sectors can still confirm interest in attending the supply chain events in Aberdeen on Wednesday 28th November and in Edinburgh on Friday 30th November.

Ian added: “Our preferred suppliers will rely on local businesses to help them achieve and deliver elements of the construction packages. These supply chain events will give smaller, tier two and three suppliers a chance to learn more about the project and opportunities to secure contracts, as well as how to navigate the complex procurement process. We look forward to engaging with these local industry experts and sharing more insights into how the Inch Cape wind farm will be developed.”

Andy McDonald, Director Energy & Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Scottish Enterprise welcome’s today’s announcement by Inch Cape Offshore Wind Ltd of its preferred suppliers, which illustrates the value of offshore wind to Scotland’s low carbon economy and our growing strengths in this sector. Scottish Enterprise is now working with ICOL to organise a series of ‘Meet the Buyer’ events to help showcase the £multi-million supply chain opportunities arising from the construction of this £2bn project.”

The preferred supplier announcement follows a series of recent developments for the ICOL project. The team completed a period of public consultation for its new submission for offshore consent in early October and is awaiting a decision from Marine Scotland, while its current offshore investigation will draw to a close at the end of November.

Inch Cape submits new application for Offshore Wind Farm

  • New proposal takes advantage of technological advances
  • Existing consent granted in 2013 remains valid

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) has submitted a new application for consent to Marine Scotland to develop an offshore wind farm 15km off the Angus coast. The application and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) marks another step forward for the project following the launch of a site investigation in July.

ICOL was initially granted permission for the development site and export cable corridor in July 2013. Advances in technology and new learnings across the wind industry since then have allowed the project to identify opportunities to improve design efficiencies and further reduce the risk of potential impacts. While the existing consent remains valid, the team are keen to pursue an alternative proposal that would see fewer, taller and more powerful turbines and a reduced number of export cables that could significantly cut construction time and costs to the end user.

This recent application follows a number of consultation events which took place in Arbroath and St Andrews last year where residents where given an opportunity to learn more about the project and share their feedback. The EIA report is available at various locations across the local community*.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “New learnings and technological advances create an opportunity for us to improve on the original proposals. With an approved proposal already under our belt this wasn’t something we were required to do, but felt it was important to integrate new advances where possible and consider what we’ve learnt since our existing consent was granted in 2013 that could further minimise our impacts.

“We look forward to engaging with local communities again to discuss our new proposal and answer any questions they may have”.

*The EIA report will be available at the following locations for public’s perusal:

  • Angus Council – Planning, Angus House, Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar DD8 1AN;
  • Dundee Council – Planning and Building Control, Floor 6, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee, DD1 1LS;
  • Fife Council – Enterprise, Planning and Employability Services, Kingdom House, Kingdom Avenue, Glenrothes, KY7 5LY;
  • East Lothian Council, John Muir House, Brewery Park, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 3HA;
  • Dunbar Library, Bleachingfield Centre, Dunbar, EH42 1DX;
  • Arbroath Library, Hill Terrace, Arbroath, DD11 1AH;
  • Port Seton Library, Community Centre, South Seton Park, Port Seton, EH32 0BG; and
  • St Andrews Library, Church Square, St Andrews, KY16 9NN.

 

Inch Cape Marks Key Milestone In Offshore Wind Development

  • Developer begins three-month site investigation in Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth.

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL) has taken a step forward in its efforts to bring an offshore wind farm to the East of Scotland after embarking on a three-month site investigation utilising local ports.

The geophysical and geotechnical surveys will be undertaken by up to four vessels on the 150km2 proposed site, 15km off the Angus coast, over 110 days (excluding weather downtime) between end July and October. Surveys will also be carried out along the Export Cable Corridor located within the Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth, with works taking place off the North Berwick and Gullane coast in East Lothian.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “The offshore site investigation is a key step forward for the ICOL project. It will help us further understand the local conditions and inform the design of the wind farm as it progresses.

Vessels will operate 24/7 to drill boreholes on the development site and to allow soil sampling, refuelling out of local ports including Dundee and Montrose. Local maritime and fishing communities across Angus, Fife and East Lothian have been and will continue to be consulted throughout the investigation period to help minimise any significant impacts on the industry.

Ian added: “We expect the investigation to create minimal impact on the local fishing community, and are grateful for everyone’s cooperation. This time and investment now will put us in good stead to progress quickly with construction as soon as the necessary permissions are in place, and mitigate the risk of any potential delays during the next phase of the development.

All vessels are requested to remain 500m clear of the agreed exclusion zones to ensure the safety of both engineers and fishermen, and avoid any potential delays to the investigation. Surveys will only take place on certain zones for a matter of weeks with exclusion zones changing throughout the investigation period, allowing fishing practices to continue in collaboration with the project.

Lighthouse Lidar Lights Up Offshore Wind Farm Plans With Zero Downtime

Details of a novel three year project to enhance the energy assessment and revenue forecasting for the proposed Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm 15km off the Angus coast in the East of Scotland demonstrates significant benefits of adopting bespoke technology to gather data. A ZephIR wind Lidar system was installed on an existing lighthouse structure thanks to a custom-built solution developed by SgurrEnergy (now Wood). This innovative solution not only negated the need for an independent offshore structure but the Lidar also took a comprehensive data set at heights from its installed location up to the projected turbine height, required no servicing and reported no major faults for the duration of the project. The project was carried out in cooperation with the Northern Lighthouse Board.

The ZephIR wind Lidar, attached to the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse at Bell Rock in Scotland, achieved up to 95% data availability and conducted measurements remotely at heights of more than 180m above the sea during the 3 years of detailed wind direction and wind velocity measurements. These data sets were taken to complement the wind data from an offshore met mast. At the end of the campaign the Lidar and supporting structure were removed with no trace left on the historic lighthouse.

Matt Smith, Offshore Expert at ZephIR Lidar, said: “At ZephIR Lidar, we understand that no deployment is the same and we provide the very best solution and customer service for every unique case. Seeing a ZephIR wind Lidar mounted on a heritage piece of infrastructure like Bell Rock lighthouse was a great experience! We thoroughly enjoyed working with Inch Cape Offshore Limited to get the best wind measurements possible with this a one-of-a-kind solution.”

Pre- and post-deployment validations of the ZephIR wind Lidar were conducted against a 91m IEC compliant mast at the UK Remote Sensing Test Site. From analysis of the results there were no significant changes observed in the Lidar’s performance during the 3 ½ years, with absolute performance fitting well within the industry standard (IEC) requirement for accuracy on wind speed for a first class, calibrated, well-mounted cup anemometer.

John Reddish, Technical Manager, Inch Cape Offshore Limited said: “The ability to set up the Lidar system quickly and take wind measurements without the need for any additional infrastructure brought huge benefits to the project in terms of reducing costs, improving efficiency and staying on schedule.”

John added: “The harsh Scottish coastal climate naturally brings challenges to overcome and we had the additional challenge of protecting the heritage of the Bell Rock lighthouse. Thanks to its small, compact size and robust design, ZephIR’s wind Lidar provided non-intrusive technology that was resistant to the adverse effects of the environment and as a result, helped us gather the necessary data without the need for servicing or delays due to repairs.”

ICOL continues to engage with onshore community

In recent weeks following the Scottish Government’s decision to call-in ICOL’s onshore application for planning permission in principle, the project team has continued to engage with the local community. As well as meeting with the East Lothian Council, the team have also met with both Prestonpans and Port Seton & Cockenzie Community Councils, and local MSPs to discuss how best to work together moving forward to achieve best use of the land at the former Cockenzie Power Station.

ICOL believes there is enough room for multiple developments on the site and has been actively looking at how to reduce the footprint of the proposed transmission works to ensure the adjacent land would be both available and viable for other developments. Feasibility studies regarding the changing size and design of the transmission works’ footprint, which would remain within the red-line boundary, are ongoing and pre-date the call-in and the most recent calls for a further change in location.

If found viable, these potential changes to the footprint would be outlined in detail in the next stage of planning should the project be granted planning permission in principle, during which ICOL would consult further with the local community.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “We have met with East Lothian Council and local political stakeholders to express our ongoing commitment and interest in working together moving forward to achieve what is best for the site. We believe there is enough room for multiple developments on the former Cockenzie Power Station site. Following initial feedback from the local community during the consultation phase, we have been actively looking at how to reduce the footprint of the transmission works to ensure adjacent land is available and viable for other plans.

“We look forward to working with East Lothian Council and the local community to ensure development opportunities are maximised for all.”

Scottish Government ‘Calls-in’ ICOL Onshore Planning Application

The Scottish Government has called-in Inch Cape Offshore Limited’s application for planning permission in principle for onshore components of the wind farm development. The proposal and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which were submitted to East Lothian Council in early March, will now be assessed by planning ministers before a decision on whether permission is granted is confirmed.

This process often takes place for developments of national importance and requires a slightly different decision-making process however the views of the public and other stakeholders, such as East Lothian Council, will remain central to the decision-making process. ICOL encourages all interested parties to continue to contribute to this process.

Ian Johnson, ICOL Project Manager, said: “As the Inch Cape Offshore Wind project is of national significance, our new application for planning permission in principle has been ‘called-in’ by the Scottish Government. This is not uncommon for a project with such national economic and environmental importance. We hope to continue to engage with the local community and East Lothian Council, to listen to any feedback and concerns they may have, as they contribute to the decision-making process in coming months.

“If successful, the project will help achieve the Scottish Government’s goals to minimise our reliance on carbon energy but also act as a positive catalyst in the local area as it continues to go through a period of change following the closure of the power station. By working with the local community and relevant stakeholders we believe we can ensure these goals and benefits are realised.”