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Cabinet secretary for net zero and energy cuts ribbon on Moray East O&M base

© Supplied by Duncan BrownMoray East O&M base
(L to R) Dan Finch, managing director of Ocean Winds UK, Cabinet Minister Michael Matheson And Miguel Stilwell, CEO of EDP.

Scotland’s cabinet secretary for energy, net zero and transport has cut the ribbon on a key facility for the country’s largest offshore wind farm

Michael Matheson was in Fraserburgh today to open the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Moray East Offshore Windfarm.

At 950 megawatts, the project is currently Scotland’s largest operational wind farm, a title it will lose to Seagreen in the not too distant future.

It has been developed by Moray Offshore Windfarm East Ltd (MOWEL), a joint-venture company owned by Ocean Winds (56.6%) Diamond Green Limited (33.4%) and CTG (10%).

Ocean Winds is a 50-50 joint venture by Spain’s EDP Renewables (EDPR) and France’s ENGIE.

© PA
Prime Minister Boris Johnson onboard the Esvagt Alba during a visit to the Moray Offshore Windfarm East, off the Aberdeenshire coast. Picture date: Thursday August 5, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The O&M base provides the facilities for the day-to-day running of the wind farm, its associated administrative and procurement support, warehousing for spare parts.

It is also home to the service operations vessel (SOV) Alba, which spends two-week periods at sea with a crew tasked with undertaking planned works on the offshore infrastructure.

About 100 locals are directly employed at the O&M base.

Moray East first began generating power in June, with the last of the 100 turbines being installed last month.

Commissioning work is underway and full output is expected by year-end.

During his visit to the north-east Mr Matheson cut the ribbon on a commemorative plaque in the facility after making a keynote speech to the leaders of the global energy companies which financed the project.

© Supplied by Duncan Brown
Michael Matheson was in Fraserburgh today to open the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Moray East Offshore Windfarm

Enrique Alvarez, project director of Moray East said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to join us in reaching this important milestone, which represents the concrete-and-steel realisation of the vision for offshore wind we brought to the Moray Firth more than a decade ago.

“The O&M base is the land-based hub for the massive offshore infrastructure of Moray East. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with delivering the project – the communities and organisations that have supported its development, our suppliers and our staff – whose commitment has delivered a facility of which Scotland can be proud.

“At a time when security of energy supply is front and centre of the agenda, Moray East is coming on stream with a secure supply of low cost, low carbon energy from domestic renewable resources.”

Mr Matheson said: “Offshore wind will play a significant role in our energy transition and last year we set out our ambition to install up to 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 – enough to power over 8 million homes.

“The Moray East Offshore Wind Farm will take us one step closer to realising this ambition and I am delighted to officially open the Operations and Maintenance base at Fraserburgh Harbour. This base is another important step in ensuring our communities benefit from new high-valued skilled jobs and associated economic opportunities as we achieve our net zero ambitions.”

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