A groundbreaking offshore wind farm that faced opposition from Donald Trump has been officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister.
Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Aberdeen exported to the national grid for the first time in July.
Two of its 11 turbines are said to be the most powerful in the world at 8.8 megawatts and stand 626ft tall.
The wind farm, situated 1.5 miles from the shore, is expected to produce enough electricity to meet the demand of almost 80,000 homes a year.
More than 100 business leaders and dignitaries joined Nicola Sturgeon and staff from Swedish-owned Vattenfall at an opening ceremony on board a NorthLink Ferries vessel yesterday.
The First Minister said: “I am proud that as part of this groundbreaking project, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines are now up and running in Scotland.
“The EOWDC will maintain Scotland’s reputation for innovation in low-carbon and renewable energy development and deployment. A single rotation of one of these 8.8MW turbines will generate enough energy to power a home for 24 hours, which truly shows the potential of this technology to strengthen Scotland’s renewable energy-generating capacity in the future.”
The project has a total capacity of 93.2MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of 70 per cent of households in Aberdeen, industry association RenewableUK said.
The first of the turbine foundations was installed in March, with the final turbine put in place at the end of May.
It was connected to the national grid after the laying of more than four miles of high voltage underground cable between Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ substation in Dyce and the wind farm’s onshore substation at Blackdog.
The project had faced delays, including a court challenge by president Trump, who claimed the turbines would ruin the view from his golf course at Balmedie.
Speaking to the crowd gathered for an inauguration ceremony on the deck of the ferry, Sturgeon added: “I think it’s fair to say it’s had its opponents along the way.
“But I hope what we’re seeing today – and I’m going to use this word deliberately – the beauty of what we’re seeing today, will in time be capable of persuading even the sternest critic of this fantastic centre.”