Plans to build what could be Scotland’s first major offshore wind farm took a step forward on Tuesday with the announcement that an equity consortium is now in place to build the massive £2 billion Neart na Gaoithe development.

Global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power is in exclusive discussions with the equity consortium which is led by power company InterGen, whose European headquarters are in Edinburgh.

The consortium – which includes Siemens Project Ventures, The Marguerite Fund and Infrared Capital – would take the proposed 450-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Fife to financial close and to construction.

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Located in the Outer Forth Estuary, the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm secured a 15-year Contract for Difference (CfD) subsidy from the UK’s National Grid last year which will assure the wind farm an inflation-linked strike price for electricity produced.

In October Scottish Ministers awarded offshore planning consent and the project is expected to be fully commissioned and generating electricity by 2020, subject to the outcome of a judicial review lodged by the RSBP, which is currently under consideration by the Scottish courts.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Scottish Renewables Offshore Wind Conference in Glasgow, Mainstream’s Chief Operating Officer Andy Kinsella said that the wind farm would create over 500 jobs during construction and over 100 permanent jobs during its 25-year operational phase.

“More than £540 million will be directly spent in Scotland during the construction phase and a further £610m will be spent during the operational phase,” he said.

“All the building blocks are now in place to deliver this power plant into operation by 2020.

“All consents have been received; the CfD was awarded; the technology and construction contractors are in place and, very significantly, the required debt funding for the project has been sourced from commercial banks.”