Building work is underway on a new wind farm development which will bring sufficient clean energy online for 375,000 Scottish homes. Its developer, EDF Renewables, has now achieved full financing for the Neart na Gaoithe - or 'strength of the wind' development, which is located ten miles off the Fife coast.
Funding has been secured through a partnership arrangement between 25 different financial institutions, including ESB, the Irish power firm, which has taken a full 50% ownership stake.
54 wind turbines for the development are due to be assembled at Dundee's Forth Ports, which will provide skilled employment for local firms. From here, the turbines will be transported to the site. There has been some criticism that part of the manufacturing work for the jackets will be outsourced to Asian firms, but EDF has explained that the necessary specialist skillsets were not available locally and that Scotland still has the opportunity to develop these necessary clean energy competencies as its green energy sector grows.
After a series of controversies around the number of British renewable supply contracts being awarded to overseas firms, local Scottish engineering company, BiFab, won a tender to build a number of the farm's foundation jackets which are used to secure turbines to the seabed.
CEO of EDF Renewables UK, Matthieu Hue, said that the new wind farm had already hit a number of key milestones and would now forge ahead with construction, with a large group of Scottish and British firms taking part in the project.
The wind farm will produce 450 MW of clean energy and support Britain's drive to become a carbon-neutral economy. The new wind farm will also support local businesses and clean energy suppliers with such a large supplier framework in place.