The first Vestas V164-10.0 MW turbine has been installed at the 1.1 GW Seagreen, Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest fixed bottom offshore wind farm.
The installation of the first Vestas turbine in the North Sea off the Scottish coast heralds the start of the turbine installation phase which will see a total of 114 wind turbines installed across the project site.
This turbine is also the first V164-10.0 MW turbine installed globally, and at 10 MW will be the most powerful turbine currently installed offshore in Europe once operational in terms of power rating.
Seagreen is Scotland’s largest renewable energy project and one of the biggest private investments in Scottish infrastructure.
Once completed, the 1.1 GW Seagreen offshore wind farm will be capable of generating around 5,000 GWh of renewable energy annually. That’s enough clean and sustainable electricity to power more than 1.6 million UK homes and save around 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Components for the first turbine to be installed, including blades, nacelles, and the supporting towers, were transported to the site by installation contractor Cadeler’s giant wind farm installation vessel Wind Osprey from Vestas’ turbine marshalling base at Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool, North-East England.
The massive turbine was installed onto a giant 2,000 tonne three-legged caisson jacket foundation fixed to the bottom of the North Sea floor.
Situated around 27 kilometres off the Angus coast, the GBP 3 billion wind farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (49 per cent) and TotalEnergies (51 per cent).
SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction of the Seagreen project, supported by TotalEnergies, and will operate Seagreen on completion for its expected 25-year lifetime.
”Seagreen is a project that’s always pushing boundaries and is full of firsts. Installing the first turbine at any offshore project is a really important milestone but when that turbine is also the first of its type to be installed anywhere in the world, it makes even more exciting,” Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables, said.
”Once operational, the Vestas V164-10.0 MW turbines at Seagreen will be the most powerful offshore turbines in Europe, generating 1.1GW of installed renewable energy at what will be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm installed on the world’s deepest fixed bottom turbines. As Scotland’s offshore wind champion, I’m truly proud that SSE Renewables is breaking these boundaries on Seagreen with our project and supply chain delivery partners. And I’m looking forward to working across our teams to complete project delivery through 2022 ahead of entering commercial operation in 2023.”
The Seagreen turbine installation programme is running in parallel with the ongoing foundation installation campaign, which is being run by Seaway 7 out of Scotland’s Port of Nigg.
Philippe de Cacqueray, Head of Offshore Wind UK at TotalEnergies, said: ”TotalEnergies is very pleased to see the first turbine installed on the Seagreen project. As a company that is working towards net-zero and investing in Scotland in order to reach that ambition, reaching this important milestone shows that we are making good progress. By the end of next year we expect that all of Seagreen’s turbines will be in place, ready to start providing homes and businesses across the country with renewable power.”
First power is expected by early next year with the offshore wind farm expected to enter commercial operation in 2023.
”As key milestones go, the installation of the first turbine is one of the most exciting. It’s a fantastic achievement and a testament to the whole project team that we have reached this moment and we’re all looking forward to getting the remaining 113 turbines in,” John Hill, Seagreen’s Project Director, said.
”The Seagreen project is bringing significant benefits to the local community, to the UK supply chain and, once completed, Seagreen will make a significant contribution to our net zero targets by powering the equivalent of two thirds of Scotland’s homes.”
Earlier this year, Vestas announced that 87 per cent of the V164 blades for the Seagreen project would be manufactured in the UK. Of the 114 blade sets to be installed at the Seagreen project, 99 blade sets, or 297 blades in total, are being produced in the UK. Production for the Seagreen project is taking place at the company’s Isle of Wight facility.
”The commercial installation of the first V164-10.0 MW at the Seagreen project is a major milestone for Vestas and continues to push the boundaries of offshore operational excellence,” Allan Birk Wisby, Project Director at Vestas, said.
”We’re proud to be supporting SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies in the delivery of this important renewable energy project for Scotland with Europe’s most powerful turbine currently installed commercially. The project’s progress has been bolstered by outstanding collaboration by all parties, and we look forward to continuing the installation campaign of the Seagreen project into 2022.”