Basking sharks and hard rock blamed for plans for Scottish windfarm falling through

Basking sharks are being blamed for stopping the development of an offshore windfarm off the west coast of Scotland. ScottishPower Renewables said the proposed site off the coast of the island of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides “has the some of the best wind conditions of any offshore zone in the UK”, but has decided not to go ahead with the project. Opponents of the project said that it would have been an “environmental disaster”, with the building of the windfarm affecting the quality of life for the local basking shark population.

However, although there’s a significant presence of basking sharks in the area, the project has also been dropped because it is not financially viable in the short term. The main issues affecting the progression of the project are the ground conditions in the site, particularly the presence of hard rock, coupled with challenging wave conditions that could impact on the construction.

“We believe that the Argyll Array could become a viable project in the long term”, said Jonathan Cole, head of offshore wind at ScottishPower Renewables. “It could take 10-15 years for the required technology improvements to be available for this project”, he added.

A total of 22 offshore windfarms are already operating with five more under construction; eight approved and another 12 awaiting approval.