Moray Offshore Renewables Limited (MORL) received Aberdeenshire Council's unanimous backing yesterday for its plans to develop the Moray Firth Round 3 Zone.
MORL, a joint venture between EDP Renovaveis and Repsol, plans to develop the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl projects, off Scotland's north-east coast. Their combined capacity would be up to 1,500MW.
Three applications were submitted earlier this year to Marine Scotland, which will make a recommendation to ministers. Aberdeenshire is one of three local authorities that Marine Scotland is consulting and a final decision is expected next year. Assuming the green light is given, construction could begin in 2015. First power is likely in 2016 or 2017, with completion possible by 2020.
A spokesperson for MORL told Windpower Offshore: "We are delighted that the applications are proceeding and look forward to continuing to work with all the other relevant authorities in progressing them".
The projects could also benefit from the formation this week of the Scottish Green Investment Advisory Group, a joint Scottish Government-Green Investment Bank (GIB) initiative. Its aim is to assist organisations in Scotland's green energy sectors to secure funding from the new £3bn bank.
The group is currently reviewing more than 80 Scottish projects, the identities of which remain undisclosed for the time being. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The list of projects covers the entire spread of the key investment sectors identified by the GIB and the Scottish Government Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).The list was initially compiled from returns and requests received from project proposers across Scotland. We are currently reviewing the projects, to identify those that are nearing investment readiness and this will take another three months to complete."