The Irish firm’s 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm is one of four Scottish wind projects now in doubt after a legal challenge by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Scotland was upheld.
A judge ruled in favour of RSPB’s claim and “recognised the huge risks from these four offshore windfarms on Scotland’s internationally important areas for seabirds”, according to RSPB head of conservation policy, Lloyd Austin.
Mr Austin added RSPB is “resolutely supportive” of the move into renewable energy but warned it “will continue to robustly resist any projects which threaten Scotland’s best places for wildlife”.
A spokesperson for the Neart na Gaoithe project said:
“While this is a setback in our development plans for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, we remain committed to taking forward this project.
“Neart na Gaoithe has the potential to make a significant contribution to both the Scottish and Westminster governments’ commitment to climate change and to an improved environment which is the vision of so many people and organisations.
"This £2bn project is capable of supplying homes in a city the size of Edinburgh with clean energy and we look forward to bringing it to market.”
Mainstream said the project still makes sense for the economies of Scotland, the UK, and for the environment. It will now wait on the Scottish government’s decision on whether or not to appeal before it decides its next move.
The renewable energy company was established by Airtricity founder Eddie O’Connor in 2008 after the sale of Airtricity to SSE for €1.4bn.
Much of its focus is on emerging markets such as Africa, South America, and Asia.
The other projects affected by the ruling are Inch Cape, Seagreen Alpha, and Bravo.