Firms in Moray Firth and Firth of Forth gain permission for up to 1,000 new offshore turbines

A major expansion of offshore wind power in the seas surrounding Scotland has been given the go-ahead by a UK government agency.

The Crown Estate, which owns the UK's coastal seabeds, has granted firms in the Moray Firth and the Firth of Forth offshore wind rights, which could lead to the development of 1,000 new turbines. These would be able to generate nearly five giga watts of power, the BBC said.

The project would also create jobs in research, engineering, manufacturing, installation, operation and services.

Scottish secretary Jim Murphy described Scotland as the windiest country in Europe, and said conditions were being established for the energy industry to harvest this energy. He added that it was “great news for the manufacturing industry and supply chain in Scotland”.

The grants in the Moray Firth zone will be developed by a partnership involving EDP Renewables and SeaEnergy. The Firth and Forth zone meanwhile, will see a partnership between Fluor, SeaGreen Wind Energy, and Airtricity.

A £1.5m grant has also been agreed for a Fife based company, Burntisland Fabrications, to support the supply chain.

Plans for two huge new wind farms off the north and south coasts of Wales, costing around £100bn, are also expected to be unveiled later today.