An option agreement has been signed with Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL), a subsidiary of Edinburgh based energy company, Red Rock Power Limited.
This will enable ICOL to purchase a small part of the former Cockenzie Power Station site from East Lothian Council.
ICOL received Planning Permission in Principle from Scottish Ministers to build onshore transmission works at Cockenzie in February. The substation and associated infrastructure would be used to connect the proposed wind farm 15km off the Angus coast to the National Grid, thus making use of the existing grid connection at the former power station.
ICOL is continuing to work on options to significantly reduce the footprint of the onshore transmission works (by around two thirds, to approximately seven acres), as well as to move to the western part of the site. The final location, footprint and design of the works remain subject to further consultation. It is hoped ongoing collaboration will allow the majority of the former power station site to remain available for further development opportunities to boost the local economy.
The wider site was acquired by the council last year to support its ambitions for promoting economic growth in the local area and creating employment opportunities. The site is a key strategic component of the East Lothian Economic Development Strategy.
Monica Patterson, Depute Chief Executive, Partnerships and Community Services, East Lothian Council, said:
“East Lothian Council has continued to work closely with Red Rock Power and the Inch Cape Offshore Limited project team, and we are pleased to have reached an agreement which will enable a substantially smaller area of the western site to be purchased from the council.
“This means significant land will remain available for opportunities to boost the local economy and create employment opportunities. Having reached an agreement on land for the proposed onshore substation, we are progressing work to understand the full potential of the wider site in order to support growth of the local economy.”
The wind farm is expected to power at least half a million homes.
Guy Madgwick, CEO of Red Rock Power, added: “Reaching this agreement with East Lothian Council is a key milestone for the Inch Cape project and a significant step forward in our plans to deliver a project with such national economic importance as well as contributing significantly to Scotland’s renewable energy targets. We look forward to working with the council’s planning and development teams on the next phase of the consultation process."
The purchase of the site will follow the progression of the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm project as a whole. Further details of the option agreement are commercially confidential at this stage.
The final location, footprint and design of the transmission works remains subject to consultation with the Council and the outcome of the eventual Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions (discharge of conditions) Applications.