US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has vowed to continue his fight against the construction of Scotland’s largest offshore wind turbine testing facility after Swedish power group Vattenfall announced it is to invest more than £300 million in the project.
The firm says the 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), to be sited less than two miles out from Aberdeen Bay, will establish the north-east as an “international centre for offshore wind innovation”.
Mr Trump last year lost a Supreme Court battle to halt the development after complaining it would spoil the view from the fairways at his golf resort on the Menie estate.
His company, which also owns the luxury Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire, has now said it will lodge “formal written objections”, challenging planning conditions it claims have not been met.
A spokeswoman said: “The gross incompetence demonstrated by Aberdeen City Council officials is disturbing and they have failed to protect the safety and best interests of their residents, which will become their tragic legacy should the EOWDC proceed.
“Trump International Golf Links continues to thrive in the face of such obvious public vandalism.”
The go-ahead for the project comes in the wake of claims that Scotland’s offshore wind sector is “pretty much dead”, made by former UK energy minister Brian Wilson after consent for four east coast projects was overturned on environmental grounds.
“To us it is certainly not dead – we are building,” said Gunnar Groebler, senior vice- president and head of Vattenfall’s wind business.
“What else do you need as a proof point than the £300 million investment we have decided on that offshore wind in Scotland is not dead?”
Environment campaigners have hailed the investment as “very positive news” for the offshore wind sector, the economy and the planet.
Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy officer for WWF Scotland, said: “The commitment means millions of pounds of investment in clean power in the north-east, creating new jobs and helping to ensure Scotland continues to build on its successful renewable electricity story.”
Industry and government leaders and have also applauded the deal.
However, the Trump Organisation intends to lodge “formal written objections” challenging planning conditions it claims have not been met.