We support the development of renewables, including offshore wind, however this must not be at the expense of Scotland’s bird populations or other wildlife.
Although we initially objected to an application for an 11-turbine offshore wind farm to the north of Aberdeen, on receiving a fuller assessment of likely bird impacts we removed that objection.
The application has now been consented by the Scottish Government, and a legal challenge by an objector to this decision has now failed. Conditions attached to the consent will ensure appropriate environmental monitoring.
Aberdeen Offshore Wind Ltd wishes to capitalise on the city's reputation as an energy centre by establishing a wind turbine demonstration and testing centre (called The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre), whose scale and location have changed several times before consent was sought.
Information submitted on the likely impact of the development did not convince us it would be acceptable. However, further data and analysis were provided by the Applicant and led to a careful reappraisal of our stance. We considered it had been established that, although bird impacts would occur, they would lie within acceptable limits and we withdrew our objection.
We emphasised such a test centre must make a firm commitment to delivering environmental monitoring to aid consideration of future offshore wind proposals.