A “major milestone” has been reached with the first foundation being installed at Seagreen, the largest offshore windfarm in Scotland.
A pair of 2,000-tonne jackets have been fixed at the site, 16miles off the Angus coast, marking the start of work on the 1.1GW project (for scale, the UK currently has around 10GW of offshore wind capacity).
Seagreen is a £3billion joint venture project between SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies, with SSE leading construction, development and will ultimately operate the windfarm upon completion.
A total of 114 wind turbine foundations will be put in place for the project, with the first two having been installed using the Saipem 7000 semisubmersible crane vessel.
Residents of Broughty Ferry in Dundee were recently treated to a site of the pair passing on a barge, towering high over nearby buildings from the River Tay.
Several barges will work in continuing rotation to deliver the foundations, each with 50 people involved at a time.
Although the majority of the wind turbine blades are being produced in the UK, many of the foundations and jackets have been manufactured overseas, such as through the UAE’s Lamprell and China’s COOEC-Fluor.
SSE Renewables said the installation campaign will support over 140 skilled jobs at the Port of Nigg, delivering an economic boost to the Highlands.
Each jacket foundation will support a Vestas V164-10MW turbine for the project in the outer Firth of Forth.
Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables, said: “It is fantastic to get our campaign to install all 114 wind turbine foundations in underway and on schedule for what will be the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm.
“It is testament to the skill of our project team and all our contractors including our Scottish and UK supply chain that we have been able to get to this landmark point.”
First power is expected by early 2022, with the windfarm expected to enter commercial operation in 2023.
Seagreen will be Scotland’s largest, and the world’s deepest fixed-bottom offshore wind farm.
Philippe de Cacqueray, head of offshore wind UK at TotalEnergies, said: “Scotland’s energy transition is beginning to accelerate, and we have taken another important step towards the Net-Zero goal. TotalEnergies is delighted that Seagreen has now installed the first jacket at what will become Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.
“A lease agreement between Crown Estate Scotland and Seagreen has been signed for rights to access the required area of seabed which allows the project to move on to this next stage of its development.”