The GBP 2.6 billion Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has been given the green light for construction by owners SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and SDIC Power after the project reached financial close.
The 588MW, 84 turbine project, situated in the Outer Moray Firth, was consented by the Scottish government in March 2014 and granted an investment contract by the UK Government in May 2014.
The decision signals the green light for manufacturing and construction to begin. Work at the operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will commence this year. Offshore construction will begin in 2017. The wind farm is expected to become fully operational in 2019.
“Contracts have already been placed with many UK based suppliers, and Siemens intend to undertake turbine blade construction from Siemen’s new manufacturing facility in Hull,” Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables at SSE, said.
”Around £10m of investment is planned at Wick Harbour to house the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facilities and improving the existing RNLI facilities. We expect a peak of around 65 jobs during construction of the O and M base with around 90 long-term jobs anticipated during the operational phase. Today’s decision reaffirms SSE’s commitment to offshore wind and we are proud to progress such a flagship project for the Scottish offshore wind industry and the UK’s skilled supply chain. It shows SSE will continue to play its part in investing in the critical energy infrastructure the country needs to power homes across the UK both today and in the future.”
The wind farm is being developed with a tier 1 supply chain comprising Seaway Heavy Lifting, Subsea 7, Nexans and Siemens and is expected to deliver around GBP 680 million into the UK and Scottish economy via employment and supply chain opportunities during the construction phase and between GBP 400m and GBP 525m during the wind farm’s 25 year operational life. Three supply chain events were held last year through SSE’s Open4Business procurement portal to engage with interested businesses and provide information on possible contracts.
“The UK is the world leader in offshore wind; and this industry, backed by the UK Government and benefiting from our access to the EU single market, is a success story going from strength to strength,” Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd said.
“This project will provide home-grown clean energy boosting skills and creating jobs and financial security for working people and their families in Scotland, and across the UK.”