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United Kingdom

Mainstream moves ahead with UK 450MW offshore project

UK: Mainstream Renewable Power has applied for consent to develop the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm off the west coast of Scotland.

Mainstream is seeking to proceed with offshore construction in 2015 with the aim of commissioning the wind farm by 2016.

The number of turbines is yet to be agreed, with Mainstream’s application to Marine Scotland anticipating between 64 and 125 wind turbines of 7MW-3.6MW.

Currently, only Vestas has plans to build a 7MW turbine while the 3.6MW machine is likely to be the popular version produced by Siemens with a 120-metre rotor.

Mainstream said the overall budget for Neart na Gaoithe was £1.4 billion. The project became the company's first in the UK after it won the rights in 2009. Mainstream received a grid connection approval in 2010 and a lease from the Crown Estate last year. It hopes to achieve financial close for by the end of next year.

Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power’s Offshore Business, Andy Kinsella said: "This is a major milestone in the delivery of this offshore wind farm. With over 7.5GW of offshore wind farms in development in the UK and Germany, this demonstrates Mainstream’s ability in selecting the best sites, developing to a high standard and delivering to challenging milestones."

He continued: "This project is of strategic importance to Scotland; not only will it supply a significant percentage of the country’s electricity demand it will also help to deliver Scotland’s and the UK’s renewable energy targets in advance of 2020."

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