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Beatrice wind farm developers toast progress on export cables

The Skagerrak cable laying vessel.
The Skagerrak cable laying vessel.

Developers behind a huge wind farm project in the Moray Firth are celebrating a number of project milestones.

Nexans’ factory in Norway has finished making an offshore power cable for the £2.6billion Beatrice wind farm.

The company has loaded the final section of the cable onto its Skagerrak ship for the journey across the North Sea.

Vessel tracking data indicates that the cable laying vessel has already arrived in the Moray Firth.

Meanwhile, the first of two 400kilovolt (KV) onshore cable links have been installed and tested.

The 84-turbine wind farm is slated for completion in 2019 and will be capable of providing energy for 450,000 homes.

To export power to the grid, two offshore cables will stretch 44miles along the seabed to make landfall near Portgordon on the Moray coast.

They will be connected to an onshore cable system which is linked to Blackhillock substation.

From there, the 400kV onshore cables will transmit the electricity to the grid.

Vincent Dessale, senior executive vice president at Nexans, said: “The Beatrice project perfectly illustrates our capacity to deliver turnkey grid connection solutions for offshore windfarms.

“For many years Nexans has been committed to facilitating the energy transition in Europe and worldwide, and we are proud to contribute to building Scotland’s largest windfarm.”

The project is owned by a joint venture comprising SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power.

It is expected to generate £680million for the UK and Scottish economies via employment and supply chain opportunities during the construction phase and £400-£525million during its 25 year operational life.

The development has provided work for tier one supply chain companies including Seaway Heavy Lifting, Subsea 7 and Siemens.

The final foundation piles were installed at the end of last year.

Nexans finished laying and burying the first offshore cable route in 2017 and connected it to the offshore platform in February 2018.

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