Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, the 588MW Beatrice, has started generating power for the first time.
Following the installation of the first Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbine, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) has exported power to the National Grid for the first time.
The installation of the first turbine heralds the start of the final stage of Beatrice’s journey towards completion in Spring 2019, SSE said.
“We often talk about key milestones along a project’s journey, and Beatrice has had quite a few to date, but to see the first turbine turning in the Moray Firth and to have reached first power safely, ahead of programme and on budget is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project,” John Hill, Beatrice’s Project Director, said.
Once complete, Beatrice’s 84 turbines will be capable of providing sufficient clean and sustainable power for the equivalent of 450,000 homes.
“This is a very significant step forward and I am delighted to hear that the Beatrice offshore wind farm has generated its first power for the National Grid and has done so ahead of schedule,” Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said.
“Scotland alone is expected to see expenditure of £530 million from the construction of the project, while Operations and Maintenance activity will provide a real boost to the economy of Wick over the lifetime of the project, as the harbour chosen for maintenance activity.”
Situated 13 kilometres off the Caithness coast, the GBP 2.6 billion wind farm is not only one of the largest private investments in Scottish infrastructure, it is also the largest offshore wind farm in the world built using jacket foundations. The jackets are also the deepest water fixed foundations of any offshore wind farm, each weighing in at c.1,000 tonnes and installed in water depths of up to 56m.
BOWL is a joint venture partnership between SSE (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35%) and Red Rock Power Limited (25%).