Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse today formally launched the start of the development work to build the £2.6 billion Beatrice offshore wind parc in the Moray Firth.
Wheelhouse was joined by Global Energy Group Chairman, Roy MacGregor, and senior managers from SSE (the biggest single equity-holder in the project) and Siemens for a multi-million pound contract signing at Nigg Energy Park.
Siemens has been contracted to supply 84 x 7MW turbines to the project, as well as two offshore transformer units in place of a traditional substation.
When completed in 2019, Beatrice will provide 588-MW of power – sufficient power for 450,000 homes (and three times the actual number of households in the Moray and Highland regions).
Beatrice is expected to provide an average annual gross employment in Scotland of over 890 jobs during construction and will be one of Scotland’s largest private infrastructure projects. Offshore construction will begin in 2017.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland; an opportunity to build up new industries and to deliver on Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets for 2020 and beyond.
“I am delighted that this multi-million pound contract between Global Energy Group and Siemens will enable Nigg Energy Park to develop into a genuine multi-energy site, securing around 100 direct and indirect jobs and associated supply chain opportunities.
“The contract, furthermore, is an important milestone for the Port of Nigg, which has received more than £45 million in investment since 2011 and is now well on its way to being recognised as one of Scotland’s key energy ports.
“The Scottish Government is developing a new, overarching Scottish Energy Strategy which means developing a ‘whole systems approach’. This approach will consider Scotland’s energy supply and consumption as equal priorities, and we will build a genuinely integrated approach to power, transport and heat.
“Our <emerging> Scottish Energy Strategy will make clear the Scottish Government’s strong commitment to the successful and sustainable development of Scotland’s offshore wind sector.”
Global Energy Group Chairman, Roy MacGregor commented: “A lot of work has gone in by many people to take this work to Nigg and I do see this project, along with our ongoing work with Atlantis Resources on the wave and tidal turbines, and the suction anchors for Statoil’s Hywind project as being a major step in showing everyone that Nigg Energy Park and the Port of Nigg is a world class facility”
Ray Thompson, Head of Business Development, Siemens UK, commented: “As the offshore wind industry faces continuing pressure to reduce costs to consumers, access to the right facilities is critical to the safe and efficient delivery of large projects, such as Beatrice.
“We are working hard to support the project to maximise the opportunities for local companies within the supply chain; today’s announcement is a further example of this commitment.
“The previous investment made in the facility means the offer they could make was compelling, and gives us an ideal location from which to base our component installations.”