LONDON — The Scottish government approved a plan to build a wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen that was opposed by billionaire New York investor Donald Trump because it’s in sight of his championship golf course.
“This was a purely political decision,” Trump said in a statement. “We will spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed.”
Trump has been in conflict with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for more than a year over his goal of making the country the hub of European wind power by generating all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Trump reiterated today that he would file a lawsuit to stop “the destruction of Aberdeen and Scotland itself.” George Sorial, the executive in charge of developing a resort around his Scottish golf course, said in a Feb. 12 interview that Trump would fight the proposal in court for years if necessary.
Trump last year deferred a plan to build a five-star hotel, 500 homes and 950 rental apartments at the 750 million-pound resort because of the energy project. He confirmed today that the development will remain on hold unless the proposal is defeated.
“The Scottish government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector,” Fergus Ewing, energy, enterprise and tourism minister, said in the statement. The industry may contribute more than 7 billion pounds to Scotland’s economy and support as many as 28,000 direct jobs and an additional 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020, the government said.
Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm will build a wind-testing center off Aberdeen to enable developers to study their technologies at sea before commercial deployment, enabling them to reduce development risks and capital costs, according to the statement. The new wind turbines will be capable of producing as much as 100 megawatts, enough to meet the needs of almost half the homes in the city of Aberdeen.
The turbines will be installed 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) out to sea. They will be 651 feet (198 meters) high to the tip of the blades, more than the London tower known as the Gherkin.
Trump told Scottish lawmakers last year he had had assurances from Salmond and his predecessor, Jack McConnell, that the wind-farm plan wouldn’t proceed because of objections from the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The ministry dropped its opposition earlier this year.
Copyright 2013 Bloomberg
Lead image: Iev radin via Shutterstock