Eyemouth’s offshore wind farm potential

Turbine Transfers new vessel Bull Bay berthed at Eyemouth.
Turbine Transfers new vessel Bull Bay berthed at Eyemouth.

A new report shows the “enormous potential” for the offshore energy sector to help economic growth on Britain’s North Sea coastline.

The UK Government called for a joint industry and government review of the offshore energy sector to look at the fundamental issues which need to be addressed in order to maximise the benefits of offshore wind development on the east coast of Britain.

Eyemouth Harbour Trust has already recognised the value in being at the forefront of the offshore energy industry and has been marketing the port as an offshore service industry provider.

Last year after a 15 year contract was signed for offshore renewables developer Mainstream to provide power to the National Grid from Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, Christine Bell, business manager at Eyemouth Harbour Trust, said: “Eyemouth harbour is one of the closest harbours to Neart na Gaoithe and we already have a track record of servicing early survey vessels working on the site.”

The review findings are good news for Eyemouth - revealing that the industry prefers using local ports for servicing the offshore wind farms. It also noted that investment already made by ports such as Eyemouth are likely to bring down the cost of offshore wind projects which have formed strong relationships with nearby ports.

Following the outcome of a Judicial Review, when RSPB challenged the consents granted to the offshore windfarm developments in the Firth of Forth and Tay, Eyemouth Harbour Trust are waiting to see what happens next.

Trust chairman Oliver Kieran said: “Eyemouth Harbour Trust has recognised the potential economic benefits which are presented by the development of offshore wind generation. It has been engaged with developers who are actively pursuing the establishment of sites in the Firth of Forth.

“Eyemouth is uniquely placed to service Firth of Forth sites because of its relative proximity to both the offshore sites and the manufacturing facilities further south on the east coast.

“One such development is nearing construction but is presently delayed because of a legal challenge to planning consents.”