U.S. billionaire Donald Trump "pulled the plug on any future investment" on his £750M ($1.1B) golf resort in Aberdeenshire, Scotland after the government approved a "monstrous" offshore wind farm, according to Frank Urquhart of the SCOTSMAN. Trump, however, vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to prevent the 11 turbine scheme in Aberdeen Bay from standing in the way of further investments on the stretch of coast where he has created the "greatest golf course in the world." Trump said, "We will put our future plans in Aberdeen on hold, as will many others, until this ridiculous proposal is defeated. This was a purely political decision. As dictated by [First Minister of Scotland] Alex Salmond, a man whose obsession with obsolete wind technology will destroy the magnificence and beauty of Scotland. Likewise, tourism, Scotland’s biggest industry, will be ruined" (SCOTSMAN, 3/26).
SCOTLAND SUSTAINABILITY: In London, Severin Carrell reported Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the £230M ($349M) project "would be capable of generating up to 100MW of power, enough for nearly half of Aberdeen's homes." Ewing said, "Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland; an opportunity to build up new industries and to deliver on our ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets." Trump's opposition to the project "led to open hostilities between him and Salmond," who had originally been a prominent supporter for Trump's golf resort and hotel development and "played a crucial role in it securing planning approval" (GUARDIAN, 3/26). Also in London, Auslan Cramb reported the wind farm is a venture by Swedish utility company Vattenfall, the engineering firm Technip and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. Project spokesperson Iain Todd welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision and said it helped position Scotland, the U.K. and Europe "at the global vanguard of the sector" (TELEGRAPH, 3/26). BLOOMBERG's Downing & Farrand reported Trump told Scottish lawmakers last year that "he had had assurances from Salmond and his predecessor, Jack McConnell, that the wind-farm plan wouldn’t proceed because of objections from the U.K. Ministry of Defence." The ministry "dropped its opposition earlier this year" (BLOOMBERG, 3/26).