Scotland’s Beatrice offshore wind farm produces first power

Beatrice wind farm off the Caithness coast in Scotland has generated power for the first time, operator SSE said on Thursday.

Following installation of the first 7-megawatt (MW) turbine, the wind farm exported power to the National Grid, the firm added.

“The project has already brought several benefits to the local community, the UK supply chain and, once completed, Beatrice will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets.

“As always, I would like to thank everyone involved in the project and the local community for their continued patience and support as we continue to build Beatrice.”

The 2.6 billion pound ($3.4 billion) wind farm will be completed in spring 2019. It will have capacity of nearly 600 MW and be capable of supplying around 450,000 homes with power.

It is the largest offshore wind farm in the world built using jacket foundations. The jackets are also the deepest water-fixed foundations of any offshore wind farm.

Each weighs about 1,000 tonnes and is installed in water depths of up to 56m (183ft).

John Hill, Beatrice’s project director, said: “We often talk about key milestones along a project’s journey, and Beatrice has had quite a few to date. But to see the first turbine turning in the Moray Firth and to have reached first power safely, ahead of programme and on budget, is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project.

Beatrice Offshore Wind farm Ltd is a joint venture between SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power.