AN OFFSHORE wind energy project could see power cables land near Carnoustie if plans go ahead.
A planning application has been made by Seagreen Wind Energy Ltd to Holyrood for consent to build and operate two 525 megawatt offshore wind farms in Phase 1 of its Firth of Forth Offshore Wind Zone.
The applications were formally submitted to Marine Scotland, the Scottish Government directorate responsible for marine licensing and planning.
Marine Scotland has confirmed acceptance of the applications and the documents will be available for viewing during the public consultation period which runs from today (Friday) to December 7.
Subsea cables will transmit the power produced by the projects to a landfall point at Carnoustie.
The onshore transmission infrastructure, which will connect the projects from landfall to the grid connection point at Tealing, north of Dundee, will be subject to a separate Town and Country Planning Application to Angus Council planned for early 2013.
Seagreen produced an onshore scoping report on the area in 2011 which is available on their website.
The report states: “The Carnoustie landfall option at Barry Links is located within the outer edges of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary SAC, SPA, Ramsar and SSSI sites, which protect the intertidal sandflats and subtidal sandbanks that support internationally important numbers of breeding and over-wintering birds.
“All coastal margins within the proposed development footprint are characterised by sand dune habitat. This open coast and ness (foreland) system is one of the largest coastal dune sites on the Scottish east coast at 1,641.4ha, extending for almost 23km. The foreland is considered one of the best examples of a natural coastal dune system in the UK.
“At its widest, the potential Carnoustie landfall location is almost 4km where a very large foreland system has developed at the mouth of the River Tay.”
Carnoustie Community Council chairman Jim Simpson, who is an enthusiastic golfer, was able to shed more light on the matter.
He said: “Basically it is looking to come ashore at the sentry box, the junction of the Buddon golf course and the army range and it’s running all the way down past the two new holes on the Buddon and up to Tealing.
“They’re going to have to take up a strip of land to dig their trenches and put the cables down. It’s going to impact on the golf course to some extent.”
Graham Duncan, general manager for Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee was able to confirm that they were in negotiations with Seagreen.
He said: “Yes, we are in discussions with them about this, but we haven’t reached an agreement or anything like that.
“We are getting facts and information from Seagreen.”
He added that there was not much more to be said until the information gathering process had been completed.
A spokesperson for Seagreen Wind Energy Ltd said: “The landfall point of the export cables will be located in a 1km stretch of beach south of Carnoustie.
“The exact location of the landfall and the subsequent cable route to connect the projects to the national transmission network at Tealing remain under discussion with local stakeholders.
“The onshore works will be the subject of a planning application and supporting Environmental Statement (ES) to Angus Council early in 2013. The non-technical summary for the offshore submissions is available from the Seagreen website and physical copies of the offshore ES are available at various locations.
“Although the location of potential construction or operations and maintenance ports have not been confirmed we believe that these projects would offer a significant positive contribution to the local economy and supply chain throughout their lifetime.”
A copy of the applications and accompanying Environmental Statement are available to view at Seagreen, Waterloo Street, Glasgow; the Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh; Angus Council, Market Street, Forfar; and Dundee, Montrose, Arbroath and Carnoustie libraries. Representations can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The Scottish Government, Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory, PO BOX 101, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB.