SSE installs first German-built turbines in Moray Firth offshore wind farm

CGI of Beatrice wind farm, Moray Firth
CGI of Beatrice wind farm, Moray Firth

The first of 84 German-built wind turbines was installed over last weekend at the Beatrice offshore electricity plant in the Moray Firth.

The wind-farm is being developed by Pearth-based utility SSE, which owns a 40% stake.

Danish offshore wind investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35%) and the UK arm of Chinese state-owned investment holding company State Development and Investment Corporation (25%) own the remainder of the project. 

Beatrice is located 10 miles off the east coast on mainland Scotland and project commissioning is expected in 2019. 

Beatrice is the fifth and final offshore development to reach a final investment decision of those that were awarded FID-enabling contract for difference support agreements by the UK government in April 2014.

The project is using jacket foundations, the last of which was installed on 11 July. Some of the jackets were supplied by Fife-based Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab), which has now laid off all but a skeleton staff at its construction yard in Methil.

Bi-Fab was recently acquired by Canadian industrial construction company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes and the Scottish government.

Alan Ritchie, GMB Scotland organiser, commented: “We were promised a bright future by the new owners but the cold, hard truth is that these yards are now closed until new orders can be secured.

“There is also anger and resentment that some of the people responsible for the demise of BiFab have had their futures secured, while the workers who made the sacrifices to complete the Beatrice order have been steadily shown the door.

“This is a dark day for Fife and Lewis, and for the Scottish economy. Whether there is any light in the weeks and months to come remains to be seen.”

17 Jul 2018

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