The last of 84 offshore wind turbines was commissioned yesterday at the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, which has been completed on time and under budget after three years of construction. The final 7MW Siemens Gamesa turbine was installed in the Outer Moray Firth, around 13km off the coast of Caithness, bringing the site's total installed capacity to 588MW - enough to provide clean, low carbon energy to over 450,000 homes. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038.
Jim Smith, Managing Director of SSE Renewables said: "Completing the offshore construction at Beatrice is a testament to the capabilities of SSE Renewables and our project partners. Delivering one of Scotland's largest ever private investments on time and under budget is a fantastic achievement given its complexity and we would like to thank everyone who has helped us make the project a reality."
Each of the 84 turbines, at 188m from sea level to blade tip, stands taller than the London Eye and Beatrice is the largest offshore wind farm in the world to use jacket foundations. These jackets weigh around 1,000 tonnes each and are the deepest water fixed foundations of any wind farm in the world, installed in water depths of over 56m. As Beatrice's majority shareholder, SSE Renewables led on the construction process and will manage operations and maintenance from a new base in Wick, having invested over £20m in the coastal town to redevelop the harbour front and renovate two 200-year-old Thomas Telford buildings that will soon become home to up to 90 long-term members of staff.
BOWL engaged constructively to maximise the opportunity for economic benefits and contracts were placed with companies and businesses across the supply chain resulting in over £1.1bn construction spend in the UK and around half of this in Scotland. This included CS Wind's Machrihanish factory for turbine towers, Global Energy Group's Nigg Energy Park for marshalling and turbine pre-assembly, Bi-Fab in Fife and on Lewis for jacket foundations and piles, Babcock Marine in Rosyth for the Offshore Transformer Module topsides, JDR Cables in Hartlepool for array cables and Siemens Gamesa in Hull for blade manufacturing.
Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, Senior Partner at Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners stated: "We are very pleased to see all 84 turbines feeding green, renewable electricity into the grid. This is a major milestone in our offshore wind strategy, where we are developing, constructing and operating offshore wind projects globally."
Guy Madgwick, CEO of Red Rock Power Limited, said: "The completion of Beatrice signifies the monumental strides the Scottish offshore wind industry has made in recent years, and marks the beginning of a new chapter as we prepare to bring 30GW clean and affordable wind energy to consumers by 2030. Many of our team were responsible for securing Beatrice in the 2008 leasing round, and so after more than 10 years, we're delighted to see the development finally come to fruition."
Jim Smith added: "SSE Renewables has been involved in the offshore wind industry for 15 years now and we will take the learning from Beatrice and apply it as we now look to develop and deliver our pipeline of over 7GW offshore wind projects across the UK and Ireland. At the beginning of May, the UK Government's Committee on Climate Change determined that Britain would need to go faster and further to decarbonise. Beatrice is one demonstration of how SSE Renewables knowledge and expertise in developing, delivering and operating renewable energy assets can contribute to a zero-carbon world at scale."
Business Secretary Greg Clark: "The offshore wind sector is a UK success story, and the completion of this windfarm is further evidence that the UK is the best place to invest in renewable energy. In working with the government, the sector has shown it can deliver ever larger projects at ever lower costs while creating skilled, fulfilling, well-paid jobs. Our ground-breaking sector deal, signed earlier this year, will drive £250 million into businesses in the UK offshore wind supply chain - keeping the UK at the forefront of this vibrant 21st century industry."
Source and top image: Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd