Will Wind Power Trump The Donald’s View?

It seemed to be a harmless enough announcement from the Swedish power company Vattenfall, topped with the perfectly boring headline, “European offshore wind deployment centre consent application submitted.” Yawn. Then came The Donald. As in Trump.

Trump was miffed to hear that a European Union-backed joint venture comprising Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group had formally sought permission to begin work on an 11-turbine testing ground a few kilometers off the northeast coast of Scotland. This happens to be the bit of Scotland coast where Trump was far along on a billion-pound golf resort project due to open for business next summer. Blustery Donald, apparently, doesn’t want wind turbines to mar the view off Aberdeen Bay.

Trump wind controversy, European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, Scotland

image via Trump International

“I was repeatedly promised, as an incentive for us to go forward and proceed with this project, that wind turbines would not be destroying and distorting the magnificent coastline,” Trump harrumphed, according to the Guardian. “Unfortunately, despite these prior assurances that the wind project would not proceed, I am now learning that this issue has again raised its ugly head. Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with its greatest asset being its magnificent coastline, a coastline known for its great beauty throughout the entire world.”

Trump offshore wind controversy, European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre

image via Trump International

Indeed – which is why the Scottish Wildlife Trust had, to little avail, objected to Trump constructing his resort, a sprawling 1,400-acre haven for the wealthy with two championship golf courses, a five-star hotel, a golf academy and a residential community.

The offshore wind developers kept a stiff upper lip in the face of Trump’s fury. David Hodkinson, U.K. country manager for Vattenfall, said in the statement that the site would be treated with “the same attention to detail in respect of environmental and community considerations as we have for our previous developments.”

The developers plan to test 11 different next-generation offshore wind turbines in the Scottish waters, hoping “to accelerate the development of offshore wind power by proving the next generation of technology in a real time offshore environment.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.