Works on bringing the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind turbines to spin off the Scottish coast are moving forward with export cable route boulder clearance now completed. The same operations that were being carried out at the inter-array routes are paused for the winter, while activities on getting the project’s O&M base up are now underway.
The vessels FS Kristiansand and World Peridot, which were deployed on boulder clearance along the export cable route, have now been demobilised as the works are finished.
Boulder clearance which was taking place within the wind farm area has not yet been completed and will resume on the remaining inter-array cable corridors following the winter months, most likely in early April 2021.
Meanwhile, onshore works are picking up pace with Neart na Gaoithe’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base at Eyemouth Harbour in focus.
On 10 November, the developers EDF Renewables and ESB said they were organising a one-hour virtual event on 18 November to present the opportunities available to local businesses who can support the offshore wind project with the development of a three-storey main building and a two-storey storage warehouse.
Currently, a tender process is under way to identify suitable contractors to deliver the design and build of both the O&M building and the adjacent pontoon and marine works, according to NnG developers.
Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) planning committee approved plans for the O&M building in September. The planning permission was given for the 1,040m2 three-storey main building and the 538m2 two-storey storage warehouse.
The O&M building, designed by Corstorphine + Wright Architects, will house the office, warehousing and staff welfare facilities required to support the servicing of the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm, once operational in 2023.
The virtual event for the O&M base is the first in a series of virtual events focused on how the Scottish supply chain can support delivery of the 450 MW offshore wind farm, which will feature 54 Siemens Gamesa 8 MW turbines and two GE Renewable Energy Grid Solutions’ offshore substations.
Neart na Gaoithe onshore construction started in November 2019 with works on the onshore cable route, while the offshore construction began this August with Saipem’s vessel S7000 being deployed on seabed preparation for the jacket foundations.