ScottishPower Renewables is excited to be developing the MachairWind project off the coast of Argyll – our first offshore windfarm of its kind in Scottish waters.
Crown Estate Scotland has awarded SPR the rights to develop an offshore wind farm within an area of seabed that is located north-west of Islay and west of Colonsay.
In the coming years we will carry out surveys across the Option Agreement Area, which is depicted by the turbines in the map above. The windfarm itself will only cover part of this area and its exact location will be informed by these forthcoming survey works.
As it is very early days for the project, no decision has been taken yet on the specific type of wind turbine that will be best suited for the conditions in and around our Option Agreement Area. The number of turbines we install will depend on the technology we select as part of the future detailed project design. With an average water depth of 55m across the Option Area, we expect to use foundations that are fixed to the seabed for the project, rather than those that are anchored.
Export Route and Grid Connection
This will be SPR’s first offshore windfarm in the region and MachairWind’s offshore turbines will export their green electricity to the grid by a subsea cable, which will connect to a substation at an onshore location on the mainland of south-west Scotland. National Grid, who decide where this connection point will be, is expected to confirm its location in 2023.
MachairWind has a proposed generating capacity of 2GW, which is enough clean, green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 2 million homes across the UK.
The offshore and onshore cable routes are currently being evaluated and will be identified once technical studies and appropriate consultations with stakeholders have been carried out.
We are developing a clear project timeline that will highlight key project milestones. This section will be updated once further timings are confirmed. Key project events to date include:
March 2021 – Marine ecology aerial surveys commenced
April 2022 – Option to Lease Agreement signed with Crown Estate Scotland
October 2022 – Project team hosts public drop-in sessions on Colonsay, Islay and Jura
We will set out the indicative timing of the following activities when these are confirmed:
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping
Offshore and onshore environmental surveys
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) development
Planning consent application
Planning consent award