Highlands & Islands

Last turbine installed at Scotland's biggest offshore wind farm

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Media captionBeatrice is expected to generate enough power for 450,000 properties

The last of 84 turbines has been installed at Scotland's largest offshore wind farm.

Once operational later this year, the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) project will generate enough power for more than 450,000 properties.

The wind farm site is situated about eight miles (13km) off the east Caithness coast in the Moray Firth.

It is the fourth-largest offshore wind farm in the world, and it has taken three years to install the turbines.

Beatrice is a joint venture led by SSE Renewables, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power Limited.

Super Bowl: Beatrice fact file

Image copyright BOWL
Image caption "Ship-on-legs" Pacific Orca installing a turbine

Each of Beatrice's turbines, at 188m (617ft) from sea level to blade tip, stands taller than the London Eye.

It is the largest offshore wind farm in the world to use jacket foundations.

These jackets weigh about 1,000 tonnes each and are the deepest water fixed foundations of any wind farm in the world, installed in water depths of over 56m (184ft).

A number of specialist ships have been involved in the construction of Bowl.

Image copyright Port of Cromarty Firth
Image caption The heavy lift ship Stanislav Yudin

They include Pacific Orca, a "ship-on-legs", which has been installing the turbines.

Rotra Vente, a roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel, was used for transporting nacelles, housings for the generating components in the wind turbine.

Each nacelle weighs 370 tonnes and was driven off the cargo vessel using a multi wheeled heavy lift vehicle known as a self propelled modular transporter.

Other ships involved in the construction work have included the Stanislav Yudin, which has a 2,500-tonne, 110m (360ft) revolving crane.

Its hydraulic hammers were used for installing piles needed for the jacket substructures of the offshore wind turbines.

Stanislav Yudin was moored at Port of Cromarty Firth in Invergordon during its use in the construction of Beatrice.

The construction of the wind farm has seen SSE Renewables invest more than £20m in creating an operations and maintenance base in Wick in Caithness.

In the town, two 200-year-old buildings designed by famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford have been redeveloped and renovated for future use by up to 90 workers.

Elsewhere in Scotland, CS Wind's Machrihanish factory was used in the manufacture of the scheme's turbine towers and Global Energy Group's Nigg Energy Park for turbine pre-assembly operations.

Image copyright BOWL
Image caption Once operational Beatrice will generate enough power for more than 450,000 properties

Bi-Fab yards in Fife and in Lewis were involved in the making of jacket foundations and piles, Babcock Marine in Rosyth built offshore transformer module topsides, JDR Cables in Hartlepool was used for array cables and Siemens Gamesa in Hull manufactured turbine blades for the project.

Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables said: "Completing the offshore construction at Beatrice is a testament to the capabilities of SSE Renewables and our project partners.

"Delivering one of Scotland's largest ever private investments on time and under budget is a fantastic achievement given its complexity and we would like to thank everyone who has helped us make the project a reality."

Image copyright BOWL
Image caption The wind farm site is situated about eight miles off the east Caithness coast

UK business secretary Greg Clark said Beatrice was part of a UK wind energy "success story".

Scotland's energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The last of the 84 turbines being installed on Scotland's first commercial scale offshore wind farm is an important landmark for offshore wind in Scottish waters and a fantastic achievement for SSE and its project partners."

Image copyright BOWL
Image caption The turbines were installed in a three-year phase of the scheme

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