First Minister visits Fraserburgh Harbour

First Minister visit: Alex Salmond visiting the Ivero ship at Fraserburgh Harbour to see plans for wind farm on the outer Moray Firth
First Minister visit: Alex Salmond visiting the Ivero ship at Fraserburgh Harbour to see plans for wind farm on the outer Moray Firth

First Minister Alex Salmond visited Fraserburgh last week and renewed the Scottish Government’s pledge to drive forward Scotland’s renewables industry as he met representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd.

MORL, the joint venture company owned by EDP Renewables and Repsol, plans to develop offshore wind energy in the Outer Moray Firth.

Mr Salmond discussed the firm’s plans to develop up to 1,500 MW of offshore wind energy in the deeper waters of the outer Moray Firth, during a meeting aboard Gardline’s survey ship - the Ivero - berthed in Fraserburgh Harbour.

The development could have the capacity to power in excess of one million households, according to MORL.

Gardline has been contracted to undertake geophysical and geotechnical survey works in the Moray Firth, providing vital information about seabed conditions, which will enable the electrical infrastructure to be designed to withstand the challenging conditions of the North Sea.

The First Minister toured the ship with representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables and was briefed on the challenges of developing large-scale wind generation in the Outer Moray Firth.

Mr Salmond, MSP for the new East Aberdeenshire seat, said: “I’m very pleased to see first hand how Gardline’s survey work is progressing and to meet representatives of EDP Renewables to hear more about this exciting project. I’ve been impressed by the vision and determination of EDPR and Repsol since the announcement of their partnership for the Moray Firth offshore windfarm in June.

“This project is among eight developments in Scottish waters that, together, will deliver up to 10 Giga Watts of clean energy from offshore wind and help ensure we meet our 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity demand from renewables.

“Together, these offshore wind projects could generate investment value of as much as £30 billion, and businesses and communities across Scotland are well-placed to secure substantial benefits from that, as well as from exporting expertise for projects further afield.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work with public and private sector partners to support key clean energy developments such as the Moray Firth offshore wind project - to support jobs and the reindustrialisation of Scotland’s communities while lowering carbon emissions and so helping protect the planet for future generations.”

Dan Finch, UK managing director of EDPR UK, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide the First Minister with first-hand experience of the work, commitment and expertise that is required to allow Scotland to lead the world in the development of commercial-scale wind generation, in deeper waters.”