Swedish energy firm Vattenfall has agreed to move into Aberdeen harbour to support the construction of Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility.
Vattenfall has signed leases totalling almost a quarter of a century with Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB), making it the first offshore wind operator to invest long term in the port’s facilities.
It will set up a base for its construction team within the Regent Centre in the coming weeks and move into a warehouse on Commercial Quay in the second quarter of 2017 following a retrofit.
Up to 10 people will be based at the facilities throughout the lifetime of the £300million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off Aberdeen.
US President-elect Donald Trump opposed the wind farm, arguing it would spoil the view from his championship golf course.
But Mr Trump’s oppositions appeared to hit the buffers in December 2015, however, when the Supreme Court in London rejected his appeal against Holyrood’s decision to give the go-ahead for the project.
The onshore construction phase for the 92.4MW, 11-turbine offshore wind scheme started last month with first power expected in summer 2018.
EOWDC is being developed by Vattenfall-owned Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited.
Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “Establishing a long-term centre of operations in Aberdeen has been fundamental to our project plans. We are pleased to have found a suitable location so near to the wind farm with the support of Aberdeen Harbour Board.
“Aberdeen Harbour is a natural fit for our operations while the EOWDC is a flagship project for the region and its Energetica corridor. As a hub of innovation, the project will reinforce the North-east’s global energy status by leading the industry drive towards generating clean and competitive wind energy power.”
AHB chief executive Colin Parker, said: “Whilst Aberdeen harbour has supported both onshore and offshore renewables projects many times in the past, we very much welcome this long-term commitment to the port by Vattenfall.
“We believe that our location and modern facilities are ideal to support this work, and this agreement typifies our continued strategy for diversification of harbour activity, to the benefit of the region.”