The joint venture (JV) partners in Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm – Swedish utility firm, Vattenfall, and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) - indicated that the first phase of the project could now be on smaller scale to take account of issues raised in the consultation process but that the offshore windfarm project still meets the requirements for demonstrator status.

The project will be facilitated by the Scottish European Green Energy Centre and the European Commission intends to invest €40 million Euros in the wind project.

Speaking at the All-Energy, the head of Vattenfall Wind, Anders Dahl, said: "In our public consultations on a 23 turbine scheme, we have listened very carefully to the issues raised by a number of stakeholders. One of these is maritime safety, but also issues associated with the marine environment and helicopter operations. We now consider it highly likely that we will apply for consent for a smaller scheme as a first phase.”

He added: “A smaller scheme, if commercially viable, will be more acceptable to these stakeholders and may better suit the requirements of an offshore wind test demonstrator centre for which Aberdeen, with its extensive offshore oil and gas expertise, is perhaps uniquely placed. There is a clear market demand for such testing capability in Europe and Aberdeen is well positioned to capitalise on this.”

Iain Todd, AREG’s renewables champion, said: "This project is becoming increasingly important to the development of the offshore wind sector in Scotland, the UK, and Europe. It can act as the vital stepping stone to the major offshore wind developments planned for the North Sea…”

The windfarm was initially to have up to 23 turbines in a grid formation between one and three miles out to sea stretching about three miles from the Bridge of Don to Blackdog beach.