Argyll Array Revised Timelines
ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has recently completed a review of the consenting issues associated with the Argyll Array project, as part of the assessment of environmental impacts that have been ongoing since the project started. These initial studies have identified two species which may be impacted by the project’s development; Basking Sharks and Great Northern Divers – sea birds which feed in the site in winter.
As a responsible developer, SPR will work to better understand the potential effects on these species and what can be done to ensure any adverse impacts are minimised. This will require SPR to have extensive discussions with authorities such as Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland and Non Governmental Organisations such as the RSPB and The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. This is routine good practice but necessarily takes time and, as such, SPR are now planning to submit the consent application for the project in the second half of 2014, rather than in 2013 as initially forecast.
Meanwhile, work will continue during the course of 2012 on the technical site surveys, including a geophysical survey. Thereafter, in 2013, SPR will undertake a survey of seabed habitats, gathering information on other environmental factors such as landscapes, and onshore ecological surveys of the cable export route. The company will also collect detailed wind and wave data before submitting a planning application in 2014. If that application is successful, then it is likely that the first power from the project will come online in 2020, rather than 2018.
The revised project timeline can be found here: