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Montrose Boosted by Inch Cape Wind Farm

More than 50 jobs are expected to be created in Montrose when one of Scotland’s largest offshore wind projects is commissioned later this decade.

The Angus town is to be the operations and maintenance base for the £3 billion Inch Cape offshore wind farm.

It was two years ago when Inch Cape Offshore Limited announced the major boost for Montrose Port.

The project will see up to 72 turbines located off the Angus coast.  They will provide 10% of the Scottish Government’s ambition of 11 gigawatts of offshore wind installed by 2030.

Inch Cape wind farm is a joint venture between Irish energy firm ESB and Edinburgh-based Red Rock Power.

Initial work on the infrastructure upgrade at Montrose will involve construction of offices and warehouse at the port’s South Quay.

A dedicated pontoon for crew transfer vessels travelling to and from the Inch Cape site will also be constructed along with the installation of dockside cranes and a communications mast, with the latest technologies in vessel fuelling being considered as an additional investment.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said at the time of the work going to Montrose: “This award highlights the direct long-term economic benefits which are flowing into local communities across Scotland as a result of our fast-growing offshore wind industry.

“The Inch Cape offshore wind farm, which will provide sustainable jobs for people in Angus, is a great example of this.

“Montrose Port has long played an important role in supporting Scotland’s offshore energy sector and the investment announced by Inch Cape will help it become a major facility supporting our just transition towards a net-zero economy.”

Adam Ezzamel, speaking on behalf of the wind farm venture in 2022, said: “This new infrastructure will make Montrose Port a key element in the Inch Cape offshore wind farm, which will become one of Scotland’s largest single sources of renewable power, operational for at least 30 years.

“We pland to utilise the very latest technology to reduce carbon emissions from vessels to operational base designs, operating and maintaining some of the biggest wind turbines in the world deployed in water depths of up to 57 metres.”

Captain Tom Hutchison, CEO at Montrose Port stated: “We are delighted to welcome Inch Cape to Montrose as part of our growing offshore wind portfolio.

“We aim to become the go-to port for the industry and believe that with our geographical position, deep-water berths, and sheltered quays we are ideally placed to do so.

“As a trust port, we are driven to develop our offering to benefit our community of stakeholders both now and for future generations to come.

“We have already started to see the benefits offshore wind can bring to our regional economy and we are proud to be championing Montrose and the wider region as a bastion for green energy.”

Inch Cape as a concept first came about in 2008 after the site was selected for further investigation by the Crown Estate.

An initial bidding round resulted in exclusivity rights being awarded in 2009.

Following a Scottish territorial waters strategic environmental assessment, Scottish ministers decided to progress the Inch Cape site, along with four others, and in 2011 an agreement for lease was awarded.

The ownership, design and installed capacity has changed and evolved since that time and the project has been able to take advantage of the new technologies as the wider offshore wind industry has also developed.

Since receiving its original consent in  2014, Inch Cape has reduced the number of turbines and increased the proposed installed capacity while retaining its original offshore site.

In spring 2019, it received approval for a revised wind farm design, opening the door to the adoption of new turbine technology and a reduction in turbine numbers from 110 to 72.

This significant achievement meant the project could minimise construction time and costs as well as potential environmental impacts.

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