Donald Trump 'bluster' ignored as work starts on controversial wind farm
Investigation work will start today at the site of a proposed wind farm off the coast of Aberdeenshire, which is staunchly opposed by American tycoon Donald Trump.
The work on the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), which is to be built near Trump's luxury golf course, could lead to turbine foundation designs being developed at the test facility costing more than £230m.
Green campaigners have hailed the development, with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Scotland director Lang Banks claiming that Trump would probably "spill his coffee" on hearing that the work had commenced.
"Despite his bluster, it's clear that Scotland has no intention of being held back in its renewables ambitions by the threat of his legal challenge," said Lang.
"Giving the go-ahead to this development was the right decision, demonstrating that Scotland is serious about becoming a cleaner, greener, job-creating nation. The test facility will give Scotland the opportunity to tap into the huge wind resource around our coastline and potentially lead the world on offshore renewable technologies," he added.
The programme involves a series of geotechnical boreholes being performed between 2.5km and 4km off Aberdeen's coast including drilling work to validate previous findings.
Earlier this year the Scottish Government approved consent for the project which has also been awarded up to €40m (£34m) of European funding.
Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, the company driving forward the EOWDC, commissioned the work which is being supported by the Carbon Trust's flagship research and development scheme, the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA).
EOWDC project spokesman Iain Todd said: "This is an exciting development for the project. As a result of discussions with The Carbon Trust, we are investigating the potential to demonstrate innovative foundation designs emerging from the OWA initiative including gravity-based foundations, twisted jackets and suction buckets.
"The geotechnical surveys, which are being conducted as part of the overall development process, will help us gain a further understanding of what is under the seabed and enable us to progress with foundation type selection and design."
As part of the geotechnical surveys, which are expected to run for about 10 days, a geotechnical drilling vessel will be mobilised and the work will include sampling and in situ testing in boreholes at four of the 11 proposed turbine locations in water depths ranging from around 22 metres to 30 metres.