Inch Cape makes bigger turbine bid

UK: The developers behind the 784MW Inch Cape offshore wind project in Scotland has applied to install larger-than-planned turbines following the advancement in technology.

Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL), the special project development company owned by China’s government-owned State Development and Investment Corporation (SPIC), issued a new consent application to Marine Scotland.

In it, the developer limits the total number of turbines destined for the North Sea project to 72, down from the originally planned 110.

The project was first consented in 2013, but had been delayed as part of a wider court saga over the affect offshore wind projects in Scotland could have on migratory birds.

"While the existing consent remains valid, the team are keen to pursue an alternative proposal that would see fewer, taller and more powerful turbines and a reduced number of export cables that could significantly cut construction time and costs to the end user," ICOL said in a statement.

The change could mean the project hosts 10MW+ turbines instead of 7MW models, however the turbine and total project capacity is yet to be decided. It does however mean a reduction of turbine numbers and, therefore, inter-array cabling. 

"New learning and technological advances create an opportunity for us to improve on the original proposals.

"With an approved proposal already under our belt this wasn’t something we were required to do, but felt it was important to integrate new advances where possible and consider what we’ve learnt since our existing consent was granted in 2013 that could further minimise our impacts," said ICOL project manager Ian Johnson.