Located in the North Sea, in the outer Firth of Forth, Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind developments have the potential to deliver up to 3.2GW of installed capacity, making them Scotland’s largest offshore wind farms.
Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm are two distinct projects in the early stages of development, both being taken forward by SSE Renewables. The proposals are located next to one another and are over 40km off the coast of East Lothian. The consented Seagreen offshore wind farm, which is in the early stages of construction and can be visited here, is our separate sister project and is located to the north of Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm, 27km off the coast of Angus.
SSE Renewables, headquartered in Perth, is a leading developer and operator of renewable energy, with a portfolio of around 4GW of offshore wind, onshore wind and hydro-power across the UK & Ireland. SSE Renewables has a proven track record of delivering offshore wind projects that bring benefits to the local economy and across the UK.
Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm could bring a wealth of opportunity for businesses of all sizes across a wide range of disciplines and we are aiming to utilise as many local, Scottish and UK based suppliers where possible throughout all stages of development and operation.
If you have any questions about these projects you can get in touch via e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm are two distinct projects in the early stages of development, both being taken forward by SSE Renewables. The proposals are located next to one another and are over 40km off the coast of East Lothian.
- The proposed installed capacity of the Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm could be up to 2300MW and 1,850MW, respectively.
- The proposals, if consented, could be one of the largest offshore wind projects in the world
- Berwick Bank Wind Farm could be capable of powering 3.5 million homes*
- As the largest offshore wind projects currently in development in Scotland, Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm could represent a significant economic opportunity in the country.
- The Scottish Government has announced its increased ambition to deliver 11GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. Both projects will play a significant role in meeting this target along with Scotland’s ambitious target date for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.
- Berwick Bank Wind Farm has secured a grid connection at Branxton, near Torness, in East Lothian.
- Berwick Bank Wind Farm is located 49km at its nearest point to the coast off East Lothian.
- Marr Bank Wind Farm is located 43km at its nearest point to the coast off East Lothian.
- Berwick Bank Wind Farm can be shovel ready by 2024 and generating clean electricity by 2027
- Berwick Bank Wind Farm will mean 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is avoided every year - similar to removing more than a two-thirds of all of Scotland’s annual car emission*
- If approved, Berwick Bank Wind Farm would be a multi-billion pound investment
*3.5 million homes powered per annum based on Typical Domestic Consumption Values (Medium Electricity Profile Class 1, 2,900kWh per household; OFGEM, January 2020), minimum projected 50% wind load factor, and projected installed capacity of up to 2.3GW. All homes in Scotland based on Household Estimates Scotland 2019 (National Records of Scotland, June 2020). Quoted 4m t/CO2 reductions per annum based on expected annual output against average 446 t/CO2 per GWh (BEIS Digest of UK Energy Statistics, July 2020). Quoted removal of cars based on projected annual carbon abated and calculated against recorded average of 5.89m/tCO2 by cars on roads in Scotland in 2017 (Carbon Account for Transport 2019, Transport Scotland).
Onshore and offshore Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Reports for Berwick Bank Wind Farm have been submitted to East Lothian Council and Marine Scotland, respectively. The scoping reports can be downloaded here (onshore) and here (offshore). A range of onshore and offshore studies and surveys have informed these reports and will also inform the onshore and offshore Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Reports in development.
SSE Renewables is adhering to the latest Scottish Government guidance in relation to Covid-19. The well-being of our employees, contractors and local communities is our number one priority.
Geophysical surveys, which map the seabed, have been completed for the main wind farm area. Aerial surveys, whereby a plane flies over the site to video the wind farm area, commenced in March 2019 and will continue until April 2021. The aerial surveys will collect bird and marine mammal density data. To understand the site wind and wave conditions a floating LiDAR (Light, Detection and Ranging) and three metocean buoys have been deployed. The floating LiDAR will collect wind speed and wind direction data. The metocean buoys will collect wave height data.
SSE Renewables has various surveys planned over 2020 and 2021, including onshore surveys such as environmental surveys, ground investigation, topographical, and transport access surveys. Offshore surveys to complete include the geotechnical investigation for the Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm areas. We will also undertake benthic habitat surveys to understand the ecology of the seabed. Nearshore, an additional geophysical survey will be undertaken on landfall options.
SSER is taking a responsible approach to project development, engaging early with relevant stakeholders and listening to their views to help to inform the project.
A virtual public exhibition to introduce Berwick Bank Wind Farm to the public was held in November 2020. The formal public exhibition for Berwick Bank Wind Farm is anticipated to take place in Autumn 2021. The Aim of the exhibitions are to provide updated information on the project's proposals and allow the team to respond to any questions the public may have. They are also an opportunity for Scottish companies to register their interest in helping support the successful delivery of this significant project for Scotland.
We are committed to communicating with and responding quickly to the needs, interests and concerns of local communities. To get involved and be kept informed of developments please contact us at:
1. Where are the cable landfalls for Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm?
Answer - The cable landfall is yet to be confirmed for Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm. Further information on potential locations identified for Berwick Bank have been provided in the onshore (Environmental Impact Assessment) EIA scoping report, which is available to download on this website.
2. How do I view the onshore and offshore EIA scoping reports for Berwick Bank wind farm?
Answer - The separate onshore and offshore scoping reports for Berwick Bank Wind Farm are available to download from this website under the ‘Documents Library’ tab. The scoping reports for the Marr Bank Wind Farm are anticipated to be available to view in spring 2021, however this will be confirmed as the project progresses.
3. Where can I access information that was presented at the November 2020 public exhibition?
Answer - Please visit the Project Library section to see all the information presented at the virtual exhibition
4. What role does East Lothian Council have in the consenting process?
Answer - East Lothian Council are the consenting body for the Berwick Bank Wind Farm onshore infrastructure. They are also a consultee for the offshore wind farm consent applications to Marine Scotland.
5. When will the applications for Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm be submitted to the regulators for consent?
Answer - We expect to submit the consent applications for Berwick Bank Wind Farm and Marr Bank Wind Farm towards the end of 2021. Please email us to register to your interest on the ‘contact us’ tab.
6. How can I keep up to date?
Answer - Please get in touch via the details in our contact us section and we’ll add you to our list to be kept up to date with all developments on the projects.
7. How can I register my business with SSE?
Answer - The first step in building a relationship with us, irrespective of which part of SSE you wish to work for, is to register using our Supplier Registration System which is hosted by Achilles Information Limited. This registration is core to accessing opportunities to tender and ultimately execute a contract with SSE as our primary supplier selection process utilises Achilles. All suppliers should complete registration which is a short simple process to provide information on their company, the products or services that they provide and to inform us of their commitment to our core values and objectives Click here to start your SRS registration.
More information on working with SSE I would direct you to our Potential Suppliers pages https://sse.com/potential-suppliers/
Berwick Bank Wind Farm joins Fringe By The Sea Festival
We are delighted to announce that the Berwick Bank Wind Farm project has formally teamed up with the Fringe By The Sea Festival 2021 as a community sponsor of the SSE Renewables John Muir Green. The ten day music and arts festival is set to take place this summer in East Lothian with socially distanced crowds and all necessary safety precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in place.
Onshore Consents Lead, Elouise Smith, said ‘We are really thrilled to be part of the Fringe By Sea Festival and are looking forward to playing our part in helping this great event take place in the summer. Throughout the development of our proposals for Berwick Bank and Marr Bank we have been continually seeking to engage and involve ourselves in the East Lothian community and this sponsorship is one of a number of ways in which we aim to continue our engagement.’
In addition to the live music and entertainment there will be Scottish Seabird Centre sessions, East Lothian Countryside Ranger excursions, classroom envirocrafts, and talks from high-profile speakers on the planet and the environment. The program will also focus on community engagement, helping local economic recovery from the pandemic and shining a spotlight on the county's rich natural environment.
For more information, please visit the festival website - https://www.fringebythesea.com/
Berwick Bank Environmental Works Progress Locally
Berwick Bank has been progressing onshore and offshore environmental survey works as the project targets a planning submission in late 2021.
ITPEnergised are an international environmental consultancy, with its headquarters based in Edinburgh, and are providing a lead consultant role on the onshore Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for the onshore transmission works.
Over the course of 2020 to date, the ecology team from ITPEnergised have been undertaking bird, mammal and habitat surveys across the study area, to gain an understanding of the protected species baseline and suitable habitat. These surveys are proposed to continue through to spring and summer of 2021. The survey data will be used to assess and minimise the potential impact of the onshore transmission works on identified species and habitats and to also identify opportunities for biological enhancement measures.
In addition, XOcean have been progressing offshore geophysical survey works for Berwick Bank. During these works the team have procured local marine support vessels to assist and are making use of the local harbour facilities at Eyemouth. The geophysical data collected will provide us with a picture of the seabed and allow us to assess the suitability of certain landfall locations.
We look forward to continuing to engage and work alongside the local community and supply chain as our proposals progress.
Livingston company map out the groundwork for SSE’s Berwick Bank Wind Farm
30 September 2020
UTEC StarNet have been commissioned by SSE Renewables to undertake topographical and ground penetrating radar surveys for the potential cable landfall areas of the Berwick Bank Wind Farm development in the Firth of Forth.
The work area comprises two cable landfall areas either side of Torness Nuclear Power Station, near Dunbar, covering an area of over 310 hectares.
In addition to the ground survey works which started towards the end of June this year, Innovair provided an aerial drone survey of the site with photography and a LIDAR Digital Terrain Model.
Pamela Phillips, Berwick Bank Wind Farm Project Manager at SSE Renewables said “We are pleased to be working with a local supplier such as UTEC StarNet. The combination of aerial and ground survey techniques will provide the Berwick Bank Wind Farm project team with a wealth of data that will be used for optimising the planning and design for the new land-based infrastructure required to meet the needs of the wind farm output”.
Colin Clark, Operations Manager UTEC Starnet said “We are delighted to be supporting our framework partner SSE Renewables on the Berwick Bank project. Berwick Bank Wind Farm will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm once complete, potentially generating enough electricity to power around one million homes. Our survey teams are utilising the latest GNSS/UAV/GPR technologies to provide comprehensive digital datasets to enable the designers and civils teams to progress the required landside developments”.
SSE Renewables Enlists 3DW for Berwick Bank and Marr Bank
28 August 2020
3DW are pleased to be working with SSE Renewables to create an interactive 3D visualisation to support the Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms. The 3D model will represent the coastline around the wind farm along with the wind turbines, cable routes and substation.
Within the 3D environment, viewers will be able to move freely to any location, onshore and offshore, to understand all aspects of the plans being proposed by SSE Renewables. This approach has been shown to help remove the ambiguity and misunderstanding which can occur when people are trying to interpret technical plans and complex documents.
Louise Davis (Consents Team Manager) at SSE Renewables says “We hope this interactive 3D tool will help the local community to understand our project plans. We are aiming to present the model at our next information event planned in 2020.”
In addition, 3DW will also assist SSE Renewables with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities in local schools using the 3D model and Virtual Reality technologies. These sessions are designed to support academic skills by applying them to a practical project example whilst also developing employability skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and confidence building.
Berwick Bank and Marr Bank lead project manager Malcolm Grant said “We welcome 3DW and the wealth of experience they are bringing to the Berwick Bank and Marr Bank projects and we are particularly excited at the prospect of utilising this technology in a STEM application.
“The model 3DW are developing will enable SSE Renewables to engage with Berwick Bank and Marr Bank stakeholders at a much higher and collaborative level, which we feel is especially important during these difficult times.”
Scoping Reports Submission
07 August 2020 (Updated 14 August)
The Onshore and Offshore Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Reports for the Berwick Bank Wind Farm project were submitted in August 2020. The Offshore Scoping Report focuses on the offshore generation and transmission works and has been submitted to Marine Scotland 7 August and can be viewed here. The Onshore Scoping Report focuses on the onshore transmission works and was submitted to East Lothian Council on 14 August. This report is also available for downloading here.
The reports summarise the proposed onshore and offshore works, a description of the known environmental baseline, identifies additional surveys or studies required to confirm the baseline, describes the proposed methodology of the assessment of effects, and determines what receptors and/or impacts can be scoped in and out of the EIA.
The diagram below shows the split in technical topics and proposed infrastructure between the two reports.
Public Exhibitions and Next Stage
Following the scoping submissions, an informal exhibition is anticipated to take place towards the end of this year and formal exhibitions are planned in early/mid 2021. The public will be invited to attend and comment. Next year, the Onshore and Offshore EIA Reports will be prepared. We will continue to follow Scottish Government and industry advice in relation to Covid-19 for public consultation and all EIA work.
Winds of change in the Firth of Forth
07 July 2020
SSE Renewables’ Seagreen 2 and 3 offshore wind farms, two of the largest offshore wind farms in development in Scotland, are to be renamed to Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm, respectively.
The two projects are located in the North Sea beyond the Firth of Forth. Berwick Bank sits 54km off the Angus coast at its closest point and Marr Bank sits over 43km off the coast.
The move to rename the projects is to distinguish the two standalone offshore wind farms from neighbouring project, Seagreen 1. All three Seagreen sites were awarded exclusive development rights by the Crown Estate in 2010 but are now progressing on separate tracks, with Seagreen 1 having reached a final investment decision in June 2020.
The new names are a nod to the geological history of each site, including the remains of the last glacial maximum, over 20,000 years ago. During this time, widespread movement of glaciers in the entire North Sea and, in particular, the area off the Firth of Forth, resulted in a thick layer of sediment being deposited. This sediment is historical evidence of the environmental change in this area.
The proposed installed capacity of Berwick Bank is between 1,400MW and 2,300MW and Marr Bank is between 900MW and 1,850MW. Combined, the two projects could significantly contribute to Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.
Malcolm Grant, Lead Project Manager said: “Offshore wind is critical if both Scotland and the UK are to achieve net zero. The two wind farms will contribute significantly to carbon reduction targets and will help to drive forward a green recovery. We’re pleased to have renamed them to help distinguish them as separate sites in their own right.”
Berwick Bank and Marr Bank are both at the development stage of their projects. Berwick Bank could be operational as soon as 2027 with Marr Bank following slightly later timescales. Berwick Bank wind farm has secured a grid connection at Branxton, near Torness, in East Lothian.
Further information on the Berwick Bank and Marr Bank wind farm developments can be found by visiting sserenewables/berwickbankandmarrbank.
SSE Renewables and HiDef are undertaking the world’s largest single day marine aerial surveys
27 April 2020
SSE Renewables contracted HiDef Aerial Surveying Ltd to complete what is believed to be the world’s largest single day marine aerial survey. Four aircraft are simultaneously used in a single day to survey SSE Renewable’s Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm proposal sites off the Fife and Angus coasts at the mouth of the Firths of Forth and Tay. The survey site comprises 5000km2 of open seas and is surveyed by the aircraft following predetermined transects at an altitude of 550m to stop any disturbance to wildlife.
“It is a significant logistic exercise lining up four aircraft to do this work. Add in shortened day light hours in winter and we have had to utilise four aircraft at the same time to assist SSE Renewables. It sets a new bench mark for the renewables industry in terms of what is achieved in a single day” said Martin Scott Associate Director at HiDef. “We regularly undertake surveys with two aircraft, but this takes things to a new level”.
The aircraft are deployed with high definition video cameras that record ocean going birds and marine mammals, with the footage being reviewed later to build up a picture of what marine wildlife is present in the area and follow regulator guidance.
Fugro completes geophysical survey of SSE’s Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm sites
15 April 2020
The geophysical campaign work, which began in 2019, is now complete for the main Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm areas. The survey data collected has enabled mapping of seabed features and will feed into refining and optimising the development.