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Super-Sized Wind Farms Given the Green Light

22 May 10:00 by Steve Walia

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Four huge new wind developments have been given the nod to begin construction in Scotland after a judge threw out an earlier bid to halt their progression.

Lord Carloway, the most senior judge in Scotland, overturned an earlier ruling by the Outer House of the Court of Session, who were against the project proposals.

The four projects were originally given approval in autumn 2014, but RSPB Scotland launched a legal appeal the following January on environmental grounds.

The Inch Cape Offshore project has been approved for 213 new turbines, which will be built by Red Rock Power.

Mainstream Renewable Power will build 64 turbines at the Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind development - a £2 billion development which originally involved the building of 125 turbines.

SSE and Fluor JV, Seagreen Wind Energy, will be building two separate stages of 75 turbines.

RSPB Scotland will launch a fresh legal challenge against the decision, which will see 335 new turbines built off the Scottish coast in total. The charity has fears about the risks to seabirds that nest in the development areas, and it has estimated that many thousands of local birds could be in danger as a result.

David Sweenie, the offshore manager at Mainstream Renewable Power, said that the £2-billion-pound wind energy project that they would progress would have sufficient capacity to provide sufficient clean energy to every home in a city as large as Edinburgh. Additionally, it will create 500 skilled jobs during the build phase and then a further 100 sustainable operational jobs.

During construction, he added, over £540 million will be invested in the country, and then during the operational phase an additional £610 million will be invested.

The RSPB said that the scheme could result in one of the world's deadliest wind developments.