Windfarm could boost Scottish economy by £827 million
The Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) windfarm off the Fife coast could be worth more than £800 million to the Scottish economy, according to a new report.
The report by Fraser of Allander Insitute at the University of Strathclyde said the £2 billion project will create 2,000 jobs over its four-year construction period, and could be Scotland’s next major infrastructure project after the Queensferry Crossing.
It was commissioned by Mainstream Renewable Power, which is developing the wind farm, and predicts the project would be worth an additional £382 million for Scotland’s construction industry, £440 million for the services sector and £5 million for agriculture, forestry and fishing.
In total, the report estimates the windfarm could boost the Scottish economy by 0.6 per cent of the country’s onshore GDP over the 30-year lifetime of the project.
But the NnG windfarm has faced considerable opposition of RSPB Scotland over the impact it would have on protected sea birds.
“The study confirms that NnG will support the creation or retention of large numbers of high-skilled, high-quality jobs in Scotland during construction and its 25-year operational lifetime,” said Mainstream Renewable Power’s chief operating officer, Andy Kinesella.
“The NnG Offshore Wind Farm Coalition, launched this month, has called on RSPB Scotland to abandon its legal action challenging this project and three others,” he added.
“Today’s report shows the full extent of the economic benefit to Scotland put at risk by this ongoing action. I would ask RSPB Scotland to listen to this call and allow the project to move forward into construction.”
Scottish Renewables’ director of policy, Jenny Holgan said the figures in the report “show the huge potential offshore wind offers to Scotland's economy”.
"News this week of another study which showed the job creation potential of the Moray East wind farm off Caithness is also to be welcomed,” said Holgan.
"Offshore wind can make a major contribution to meeting Scotland's climate targets, allowing us to produce clean energy from the enormous resource we have available."
This article first appeared on edie's sister title website, Utility Week