The wind farm Donald Trump tried to block is now complete

A beautiful view, for some.
A beautiful view, for some.
Image: Vattenfall
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US president Donald Trump doesn’t give up a fight easily, especially if it involves one of his many properties. One such fight happened in Scotland, where the Trump Organization owns a golf course and tried to block the building of a wind farm that would be visible from the course. The company’s legal challenges were overthrown in 2015 and, on Saturday (May 26), the last of the turbines were installed completing the offshore wind farm.

Trump himself expressed concern about the 2003 plans to build the offshore wind farm, just after he had bought a seaside estate near the town of Balmedie in Aberdeenshire in 2006. “I am not thrilled,” Trump said then. “I want to see the ocean, I do not want to see windmills.” Then in 2011, after formal construction plans were submitted, Trump filed a complaint to the Scottish government against the “the horrible idea of building ugly wind turbines directly off Aberdeen’s beautiful coastline.” Trump’s golf course opened in 2012.

When the government approved the construction of the wind farm in 2013, Trump filed a lawsuit and vowed to “spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed.” Trump’s case suffered a series of defeats, with the final blow in the UK’s supreme court in 2015.

The construction of the wind farm, which consists of 11 turbines, has continued without interruption since then. Vattenfall, the company behind the wind farm, says the 90 MW power plant will produce the equivalent of 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand, preventing more than 130,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Scotland has made the commitment of using renewable power to generate 100% of its electricity demands and 20% of its heating demands by 2020. Its vast coastline and high winds make it ideal for offshore wind farms. That’s why the country is home to the world’s biggest turbines and to its most innovative ones, such as floating wind turbines.

And despite Trump’s complaints, the offshore windmills can actually be quite beautiful, as this video from Vattenfall of the project Trump opposed shows: