Design changes to the proposed 700 MW Inch Cape offshore wind farm have been approved.

The Scottish government has given the nod to an application filed by Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL) to reduce the number of turbines used from 110 to 72.

ICOL, owned by Red Rock Power, said that the approval was a major step forward for the project as it prepares to bid in the next contracts for difference (CFD) auction round.

It added that a reduced number of turbines would help reduce project costs by reducing the number of export cables required for the project, located 15 km off the east coast of Scotland.

The company had submitted the design change because of the availability of taller, larger wind turbines. The move will “significantly improve the efficiency” of the wind farm, ICOL said.

ICOL is currently conducting the second phase of its offshore site investigation in the Outer Firth of Tay and Firth of Forth following initial works at the end of 2018. The investigation has so far completed geotechnical studies and is expected to finalise a geophysical survey in July, with seabed data informing the next detailed design phase of the wind farm.

ICOL is also finalising plans for a local operation and maintenance base at a local port to support the wind farm.