Seagreen Wind Farm Work Well Under WayNeil Hardie
Work is well under way on a major renewable energy project, off the north-east coast, that will help Scotland and the UK reach its goal of creating a net-zero economy.
When Seagreen is complete, the £3 billion venture will be Scotland’s biggest wind farm – generating enough electricity to power an estimated 1.3 million homes.
It was in 2010 that the company created to support the scheme, Seagreen Wind Energy, was awarded development rights by the Crown Estate.
Following nearly 10 years of development and consenting work, the 114-turbine project secured a 15-year UK Government contract to supply electricity two years ago.
It is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (49%) and Total (51%), with the turbines expected to become operational during 2023.
SSE Renewables, a subsidiary of Perthbased energy group SSE, has become a leading developer and operator of renewable energy in less than two decades.
It currently has an operational offshore wind portfolio consisting of two UK offshore joint venture sites – Beatrice and Greater Gabbard, both of which the company operates on behalf of asset partners.
Seagreen, being built 17 miles off the Angus coast, is widely viewed as a positive step in Scotland’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The development will provide an economic boost to Scotland and the wider UK, with hundreds of local jobs created during the construction phase and throughout its operational life.
The 10-megawatt turbines will be supplied by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, with blades to be manufactured on the Isle of Wight and service operations based in Scotland.
Seaway 7, the renewables arm of Subsea 7, will create up to 50 jobs in its Aberdeen operation as a result of being awarded the contract to install the turbine foundations and inter-array cables.
This builds on Seagreen’s existing commitment to maximise content in Scotland, with Petrofac facilities in Aberdeen building the onshore and offshore substations, and Montrose Port chosen as home to the operations and maintenance base for the 25-year life of the offshore wind farm.
John Hill, SSE Renewables’ project director for Seagreen, said: “As a major infrastructure development, Seagreen brings with it a wealth of opportunity for businesses of all sizes across a wide range of disciplines.
“SSE Renewables’ aim is to utilise as many local, Scottish and UK based suppliers where reasonably possible during all stages of the development, and supply chain opportunities will exist throughout the construction of the project.”
The project is also supporting a £1.8 million community benefit fund which will be divided between six community councils.
And it doesn’t stop there. Seagreen recently launched a £73,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) education programme for thousands of children.
It will use fun and educational activities, delivered by the charity Engineering Development Trust, to teach young people about the renewable energy sector and the Stem careers open to them in the industry when they are older.
Employees from Seagreen and SSE Renewables are to also support the inovative programme as Stem “ambassadors”.