Wind Energy – Grid Connection
SSE Renewables’ proposed Berwick Bank Wind Farm takes a step closer to realisation after East Lothian Council grants planning permission in principle for the project’s onshore transmission infrastructure and grid connection at Branxton, south of Dunbar in East Lothian.
Securing planning consent in principle for the onshore grid network will enable renewable energy generated by the proposed offshore wind farm to be transmitted to the national grid via onshore cable infrastructure and a new substation at Branxton.
This is a major milestone for the project as it represents the first planning consent for the Berwick Bank offshore wind project to be granted.
An application for consent for the offshore infrastructure needed to develop the project is currently before the Scottish Government.
SSE Renewables is hopeful of receiving a final determination from Scottish Government ministers early in the new year. If consented for delivery in a timely manner, it could pave the way for Berwick Bank to enter the next round of the UK’s renewable energy auctions, Allocation Round 6 (AR6).
Berwick Bank Wind Farm, set to be located roughly 38 kilometres off the East Lothian coast in Scotland, could generate up to 4.1GW of power, making it the largest offshore wind farm planning application to be submitted in the UK and one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world currently in development.
If fully delivered, Berwick Bank would increase Scotland’s overall renewable energy capacity in operation today by nearly 30%. It would be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power over 6 million homes annually – that’s the same as all the homes in Scotland twice over. And it could offset almost 8 million tonnes of harmful carbon emissions^ from being released into the atmosphere each year – similar to eliminating all of Scotland’s annual car emissions.
SSE Renewables is targeting a final investment decision on the project in 2025, subject to receiving a timely consent and offtake contract. If greenlit for delivery, Berwick Bank could provide a multi-billion-pound investment boost to the Scottish and UK supply chain.
An economic impact study carried out by independent renewable energy consultants, BVG Associates (BVGA), has shown that at peak construction in 2026, the project could create around 4,650 direct, indirect and induced jobs in Scotland, and 9,300 in the UK – adding an estimated £8.3 billion to the UK economy as a whole over the lifetime of the project.