Executive Summary

Executive Summary
  1. Ossian Offshore Wind Farm Limited (OWFL) (the Applicant) is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (SSER), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) (hereafter referred to as ‘the Applicant’). The Applicant is developing Ossian, an offshore wind farm project within the E1 Plan Option (PO) Area awarded by Crown Estate Scotland (CES) as part of the ScotWind Leasing Round.
  2. Ossian includes both the offshore and onshore infrastructure required to generate and transmit electricity from the offshore infrastructure to an onshore grid connection point. The Applicant is seeking consent to develop the offshore components of the Ossian Array (hereafter referred to as the Array), which are the subject of this Array Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report (hereafter referred to as this Scoping Report).
  3. Due to the ongoing National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) Holistic Network Design Follow Up Exercise (HNDFUE), the grid connection location for Ossian is currently unknown. Therefore, separate consent applications will be submitted for the Proposed offshore export cable corridor(s) (seaward of Mean High Water Springs (MHWS)) and the Proposed onshore export cable corridor(s) (including the onshore substation; landward of Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS)) once the grid connection location has been identified. The Proposed offshore export cable corridor(s) and Proposed onshore export cable corridor(s) (including the onshore substation) will be considered within the Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) of the Array EIA Report (as appropriate) to comply with the EIA Regulations.
  4. The Array will be located approximately 80 km south-east of Aberdeen, Scotland, and will comprise the following infrastructure components:
  • up to 270 wind turbine generators and associated floating support structures and foundations;
  • up to six Offshore Substation Platforms (OSPs) with either fixed bottom foundations or associated floating support structures and foundations;
  • moorings and anchoring systems for each floating substructure;
  • a network of dynamic/static inter-array cabling linking the individual wind turbines to OSPs, end links plus interconnector cables between OSPs; and
  • ancillary elements including scour protection and clump weights.
  1. The Applicant will seek the following consents, licences and permissions for the Array:
  • a Section 36 consent under the Electricity Act 1989; and
  • a marine licence(s) under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (MCAA) 2009 (applicable to Scottish offshore waters between 12 nm and 200 nm).
  1. An EIA Report will be prepared and submitted to support the required applications for offshore consents, licences and permissions for the Array, which will fulfil the requirements of the following regulations:
  • in respect to a Section 36 consent application: The Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017; and
  • in respect to a marine licence(s) application: The Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007.
  1. This Scoping Report has been prepared to support a request for a formal Scoping Opinion from Scottish Ministers in relation to the Array, and includes a summary of the existing physical, biological and human and socio-economic environment, based on known and accessible data sources, as well as an overview of any site-specific surveys undertaken to date. The potential scope of impacts associated with the construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning phases of the Array and the proposed methodology for assessing the significance of effect for the technical topics are also presented in this Scoping Report. The following technical topics have been considered within this Scoping Report:
  • offshore physical environment

             physical processes;

             subsea noise;

             air quality

             airborne noise; and

             climatic effects.

  • offshore biological environment

             benthic subtidal ecology;

             fish and shellfish ecology;

             marine mammals; and

             offshore ornithology.

  • offshore human and socio-economic environment

             commercial fisheries;

             shipping and navigation;

             aviation, military and communications;

             marine archaeology;

             seascape, landscape and visual impact assessment;

             infrastructure and other users; and

             offshore socio-economics.

  1. The Applicant welcomes responses from consultees to this Scoping Report. Each topic specific section contains a list of questions for consultees to provide response to, and the Applicant requests a formal opinion on the key impacts identified, the data sources used, and the methodology proposed.
  2. The Applicant would also welcome feedback on the draft Stakeholder Engagement Plan (dSEP) for future consultation, which sets out the proposed approach for focused consultation with key statutory and non-statutory stakeholders throughout the pre-application process. The dSEP will be used to optimise post-Scoping consultation and ensure any further engagement is focused and efficient. The dSEP will apply to the EIA and Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) process.