Trumping Trump, Vattenfall to build Scottish wind farm near golf resort

Source: By Mia Shanley, Reuters • Posted: Friday, July 22, 2016

Sweden’s Vattenfall will invest 3 billion Swedish crowns ($349 million) in a Scottish offshore wind farm that U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried to stop being built near his luxury golf course in Scotland.

State-owned utility Vattenfall, which will take 100 percent ownership of the project from Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, described its investment as a vote of confidence in Britain after the nation’s decision to leave the European Union.

“The decision to invest … comes only a few weeks after the British referendum on leaving the EU and demonstrates Vattenfall’s continuing long-term commitment to wind power in Great Britain,” the company said in a statement.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she would not rule out the possibility of Scotland remaining in the EU.

Sturgeon said that a second independence referendum is now a possibility, though she has also emphasized that another vote would not take place until it is clear that most Scots are in favor of breaking from the United Kingdom.

Vattenfall said the wind farm will have capacity of 92.4 megawatts, which could potentially supply about 130,000 households with energy. It will also serve as a center for testing and developing new technologies for offshore wind power.

In December last year Britain’s top court threw out a bid by Trump to stop the 11-turbine wind farm from being built near his multimillion-dollar resort.

The Trump Organization had denounced the Scottish government as “foolish, small minded and parochial”. The Scottish National Party’s foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond replied that Trump was “three times a loser”.

Construction is expected to start in the latter part of 2017, with the wind farm expected to start generating electricity in spring 2018. Onshore construction activity will start later this year.

(Reporting by Mia Shanley; Editing by Niklas Pollard and David Goodman)