Renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power submitted an application for Offshore Consent to the Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT) to construct a 450MW offshore wind project in Scottish territorial waters.

The application, which is now open to consultation until Monday September 10, is a significant step towards delivering the project into offshore construction in 2015.

Neart na Gaoithe (NnG), a subsidiary of Mainstream Renewable Power, has planned to occupy an area of around 105 sq km on a site that, at its closest point to land, lies 15km off the Fife coast and in water depths of 45-55m.

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) earmarked the site as one of only six in the current Scottish Territorial Waters programme suitable for development.

Mainstream aims to financially close the project in 2013 and expects the wind farm to be fully operational by the end of 2016.

The development represents an investment of £1.4bn and is expected to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs both during construction and during its anticipated 25 years in operation.

Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power’s Offshore Business, Andy Kinsella said: “This is a major milestone in the delivery of this offshore wind farm.

He added: “This project is of strategic importance to Scotland; not only will it supply a significant percentage of the country’s electricity demand it will also help to deliver Scotland’s and the UK’s renewable energy targets in advance of 2020.”

Leigh Stringer

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