The Neart na Gaoithe Coalition of renewable energy supply-chain companies organisations – which joined together to demonstrate industry support for an offshore wind farm proposed for a site 10 miles off the coast of Fife – has reached 50 members since being formed ten weeks ago.

The coalition comprises companies from across the supply chain, employing thousands of people in Scotland and who could potentially support this £2 billion development by Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power company.

Planning approval was granted by the Scot-Govt for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm, and three further developments involving SSE and Innogy in 2014.

However, the project has been suspended since then following court action by RSPB Scotland, which is currently waiting for a decision from the Supreme Court in London on whether its latest appeal will be heard.

RSPB 'census' of kittiwake locations around the UK - with the proposed Mainstream turbine farm would be situated among some of the greatest concentrations of bird populations. RSPB ‘census’ of kittiwake locations around the UK – with the proposed Mainstream turbine farm to be situated among some of the greatest concentrations of bird populations.

The RSPB appeal is based on its claim that the Scot-Govt did not give due and proper consideration to the potential adverse impact the Mainstream turbines would have on bird life.

However, neither Mainstream Renewables nor the Scot-Govt is a party to the RSPB appeal case in the London supreme court.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of this case, it is possible that the RSPB Scotland may also be able to appeal to the European Court of Justice in Brussels

The NnG coalition is using its 50-member milestone to highlight the importance of the wind farm project to the Scottish economy and for Scottish jobs.

A Fraser of Allander Institute report recently estimated that NnG would contribute 0.6% of GDP (£827m) to the Scottish economy over the project’s lifetime, creating 2,000 jobs during its three year construction phase and over 230 operations and maintenance jobs for the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm. NnG will produce 450 megawatts of clean energy – enough to power a city the size of Edinburgh, displacing 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

A coalition spokesman said: “Even at this late stage, we call on RSPB Scotland to drop its court action and work with the Scottish supply chain and Mainstream Renewable Power to make this already consented project a reality.

Iain Scrimger, Business Development Manager at Burntisland-based BiFAB, said: “The NnG project is of national significance to BiFAB because – on completion of the current Beatrice project – it would allow us to retain the skilled operational personnel within the business.”

Christine Bell, a member of Eyemouth Harbour Trust, said: “NnG would have a positive impact on our local community in East Lothian because it would bring new businesses to the town.

“It would provide an economic boost and a transformational change in Eyemouth – our hotels, our restaurants, retailers, taxi and transport companies, businesses such as IT and office supplies, would all benefit.”


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