SSE Renewables’ Viking Energy Wind Farm has passed a new milestone with the pouring of concrete on the first wind turbine base.
Eight ready-mix lorries carried the concrete to the turbine site from two batching plants set up nearby, each of which can mix 50 cubic metres an hour.
Once complete, the 103-turbine wind farm will be able to meet the green energy needs of 475,000 homes and save half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Viking bosses are hoping the onshore wind farm will be the most productive in the UK given the strong, consistent winds on Shetland.
Derek Hastings, head of onshore wind farm development at SSE Renewables, said: “It is really fantastic to get to this point in the project. This moment is one that the project team and all of our contractors can be proud of. While there is still a way to go until the completion of the Viking Wind Farm, we have come so far in a relatively short time – one which included the challenges of the pandemic and unusually prolonged winter weather in Shetland.
“We’re another step closer to realising SSE Renewables’ own wind energy targets and the net zero ambitions of both Scotland and the UK.”
Shetland contractors and suppliers are playing a key part in the construction of the wind farm.
The concreting operation involved ready-mix lorries from Garriock Bros and high-grade aggregates from the company’s quarry at Vatster.
Once the concrete has cured, the base is backfilled with materials excavated from the site, leaving only the centre ring showing, ready for the turbine tower to be bolted on.
The Vestas turbines will arrive on site for erection in early 2023.
Viking is on course to start producing renewable energy in late 2024.
Aaron Priest, Stakeholder Manager for the Viking Project, said: “This is literally a concrete landmark for the Viking project. The logistics ran like clockwork and the teams from RJ McLeod and its sub-contractors have done a tremendous job. Now they just have to repeat their skill and precision another 102 times!”