First power has been achieved from Seagreen, the largest offshore wind farm in Scotland.
Developers SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies have hailed the milestone at the £3 billion project, 17 miles off the coast of Angus.
The first turbine of 114 was commissioned and connected to the grid in the early hours of Monday morning for the 1 gigawatt wind farm.
Seagreen will ultimately provide 5 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity per year, enough to power the equivalent of 1.6 million homes.
Paul Cooley, director of global offshore wind for SSE Renewables said: “Seagreen has achieved a number of key milestones to date, but to see this turbine turning in the North Sea and to have reached first power safely, is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project.
“The project has already brought benefits to the local community, the UK supply chain and, once completed, Seagreen will make a significant contribution to Scotland and the UK’s ambitious renewable energy targets.”
The project is 51% owned by France’s TotalEnergies and 49% by SSE renewables.
Although the project is valued at £3bn, a huge chunk of lucrative manufacturing work has taken place overseas.
A contract to fabricate the first 30 jackets was awarded to UAE-headquartered firm Lamprell in June 2020.
That was followed up a few months after by news that a Chinese yard had secured a deal to manufacture the remaining 84 jackets for the project.
The decision to send the work overseas drew criticism from unions, with Scottish firm Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) also in the running for the work.
However 87% of the wind turbine blades have been produced in the UK on the Isle of Wight, developers said.
Vincent Stoquart senior vice president renewables of TotalEnergies said: “We are delighted to announce the start of power generation from Seagreen, our first offshore wind farm in the UK North Sea. This marks a new step in the development of TotalEnergies’ offshore activities capacity.
“This milestone will contribute directly to our objective of reaching 35 GW of renewable electricity capacity worldwide by 2025.”