The Scottish Government has approved two adjacent offshore wind farm developments in the outer Moray Firth, UK, which are expected to generate 1.9GW of electricity.
The approved projects include Moray Offshore Renewables, a joint venture (JV) between Repsol and EDP Renovaveis, and to Beatrice offshore wind farm, a JV between SSE Renewables and SeaEnergy Renewables.
MORL's project calls for the construction and operation of 1.116MW of offshore wind generation.
The project consists of the Telford, Stevenson and MacColl offshore windfarms, which are planned for construction 22km from the Caithness coastline.
Under the project, up to 62 wind turbines of 204m height each will be erected on each of three sites.
Upon completion, the project is expected to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 700,000 households in the UK.
Located 13.5km off the Caithness coast, Beatrice offshore wind farm covers an area of 131.5km².
After completion, the project is expected to generate around 1,000MW of renewable energy.
The approval for both the projects is subject to strict conditions on the impact of the development, including in relation to birds and other environmental considerations.
The government claims that the developments together will be the world's third largest offshore wind farm.
Scotland Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the wind farms could generate gross value worth up to £2.5bn across their lifetime and create 4,600 jobs during peak construction and up to 580 once in operation.
"Offshore wind has been delayed by the process of the UK Government's Electricity Market Reform, but these two consents today offer tangible progress towards real investment opportunity in Scotland," Ewing said.
"The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential inward investment of £30 billion and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs, generating up to £7.1 billion for the Scottish economy."
Image: The approval for both the wind farm projects is subject to strict conditions. Photo: courtesy of xedos4/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.