The below document is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report for the proposed Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm.
Inch Cape Offshore Limited proposes to develop the Inch Cape offshore wind farm in the outer Firth of Tay region in Scottish Territorial Waters. The site is proposed to be located approximately 15-22 km to the east of the Angus coastline in Scotland (see Figure 1-1). It is anticipated to consist of approximately 180 wind turbines covering an area of about 150 km2 with an estimated installed capacity of 1,000 MW and a potential yield of over 3,000 GWh per year.
This scoping report aims to seek the opinion of statutory and non-statutory consultees on the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment which will be submitted to support the application for the consents required for the development of the wind farm. It should be noted that this scoping report covers the wind turbines, inter-array cables and associated offshore infrastructure. Although Inch Cape Offshore Limited expects to consent the Offshore Transmission Operator (OFTO) infrastructure (i.e. OFTO offshore substations, offshore export cables, onshore export cables and onshore substation), these are not discussed in detail within this scoping report. A separate scoping report will be prepared for these offshore and onshore works at a later date when more details of the cable routes and grid connection opportunities are known. It should however be noted that the offshore wind farm EIA will take into account through in-combination effects, any potential impacts resulting from the combination of the activities.
The construction of the Inch Cape offshore wind farm aims to contribute to the Scottish Government’s target of generating 50% of Scottish electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020. The project will offset the emission of greenhouse gases, in line with the UK’s commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Inch Cape offshore wind farm site was selected following a study of wind resource and water depth data to identify a suitable region for offshore wind farm development in Scottish Territorial Waters. This study identified the east coast of Scotland as having a suitable physical characteristics. Within the study area, analysis of other marine users and environmental parameters were then assessed to identify the site. Increased distance from shore was considered particularly important as initial discussions with local stakeholders (e.g. fisheries, nature conservation) highlighted conflicts in inshore coastal locations and potential increased impacts on other human environmental receptors (e.g. visual/seascape issues, tourism and recreation).
This scoping report presents detail regarding the baseline environment in and around the proposed Inch Cape development site. This report also identifies potential impacts that may arise as a result of this development, directly, cumulatively with other offshore wind farms and in combination with other developments. Studies and surveys are proposed in order to inform the EIA process and preliminary discussion on potential mitigation and monitoring measures is included.