File under S for schadenfreude – or whatever the Scottish equivalent is: The UK offshore wind farm Donald Trump tried to have scrapped has begun generating renewable power, off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Swedish project developer Vattenfall said on Monday that the 11 turbine, 93.2MW project – called the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) – starting sending power to Scotland’s national grid for the first time on Sunday.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay has delivered first power this weekend, deploying the world’s most powerful turbines and a number of innovative firsts. #EOWDC https://t.co/AbhzUQhbAb pic.twitter.com/msxNfBiUYi
— Vattenfall UK (@VattenfallUK) July 2, 2018
Once fully commissioned, it is expected to produce the equivalent of more than 70 per cent of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand, sent ashore via 21km of undersea cabling connected to a substation at Blackdog.
As we reported here in late 2015 – back when President Trump was still just a figment of his own imagination – the wind farm was fiercely opposed by the Donald, for reasons mostly to do with money and golf.
That is, Trump maintained that the wind farm would ruin the view of a luxury golf course he owns nearby, and thereby damage its profitability.
Not moved by this argument, the Scottish government approved plans for the wind farm in 2013. And when Trump took the decision to court, three times – twice in Scotland and once in Britain’s Supreme Court – his case was defeated each time.
“This is an extremely unfortunate verdict for the residents of Aberdeen and anyone who cares about Scotland’s economic future,” the Trump Organisation told the BBC at the time.
“History will judge those involved unfavourably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.”
But as dangerous experiments go, the EOWDC seems to be doing rather well – even after being delayed by lengthy legal battles.
The Scottish government is pretty pleased. Energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, has personally congratulated the Vattenfall team for both the successful installation, and for its use of the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines which, with each rotation at full power, can power a home for 24 hours.
“Once the test and demonstration site is fully operational, not only will this help the offshore wind sector to further reduce its costs through lessons learned during operations, but the output from EOWDC will itself add significantly to Scotland’s renewable electricity generating capacity,” Wheelhouse said.
It would also, he added, build on figures announced last month that showed installed capacity reached a record 10.4GW in the first three months of 2018, “and which also provisionally indicated that renewable sources met an equivalent of 69 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2017.”