SSE Renewables has received planning permission in principle for its proposed 4.1GW offshore wind project, Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm.
East Lothian Council also granted permission for the project’s onshore transmission infrastructure and grid connection at a new substation at Branxton, south of Dunbar, East Lothian.
To be located roughly 38km off the East Lothian Scottish coast, Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm is the largest of its kind to have submitted planning permission in the UK, according to SSE Renewables.
Once operational the wind farm is expected to increase Scotland’s total renewable capacity by 30%.
This is the first planning consent granted to Berwick Bank, and the renewable developer said it will follow up with a detailed design planning application for East Lothian Council “in due course.”
SSE Renewables has also submitted an application for consent for the offshore infrastructure required for the project to the Scottish government, for which the company said it expects to have a final determination for early in the new year.
If so, the company hopes that Berwick Bank can be submitted into Auction Round 6 (AR6) of the Contract for Difference (CfD) scheme.
In response to the planning consent, Alex Meredith, SSE Renewables’ Berwick Bank project director called the farm a “pioneering project” that will help Scotland achieve net zero by 2045.
“The onshore grid network is an immensely important part of the project; simply put, without this element, the project could not continue,” added Meredith.
“With consent now granted from East Lothian Council for planning permission in principle, we can progress to a detailed design which will allow us to build the infrastructure required to support the conversion of clean, green energy into the national grid.”