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May 31, 2018

Aberdeen Bay windfarm completed

A major windfarm project off the coast of Aberdeen has been completed, with the successful installation of 11 turbines.

By Scarlett Evans

A major windfarm project off the coast of Aberdeen has been completed, with the successful installation of 11 turbines.

Construction of the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), was initiated nine weeks ago when the first offshore foundation was put in place.

The 93.2MW development is due to produce more than 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand and will displace 134,128t of carbon dioxide each year. It is scheduled to start power production in the next few months.

The project was proposed by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) in collaboration with consultancy group Vattenfall and engineering firm Technip.

Nine of the 11 turbines are 8.4MW models, while the remaining two are 8.8MW models – the most powerful in the world. The first turbine was installed in April and the eleventh was erected at the beginning of this week.

EOWDC sees the use of suction bucket jacket foundations that pump seawater and air out of the suction buckets, keeping the turbines rooted in the seabed and producing almost no noise in the process. It is the first offshore wind project to not only deploy this method at a commercial scale, but also to pair it with such powerful turbines.

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Vattenfall project director Adam Ezzamel described the project as a “magnificent offshore engineering feat”, and the instalment of the final turbine as a “significant milestone”. He added that the EOWDC will help to strengthen the region’s status as a forerunner in European green energy initiatives and will accelerate Vattenfall’s plans to become fossil fuel-free within a generation.

With the turbines erected and the array cables installed, the project is now due to move on to the commissioning phase.

Connection work for the site began early last year, with the laying of more than four miles of high-voltage underground cable between the substation in Dyce, just outside of Aberdeen, and EOWDC’s onshore substation at Blackdog.

Since the project was first proposed in 2003, the development faced a series of objections from US President Donald Trump, who said the turbines would obstruct the views from his planned golf course in Balmedie. However, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Trump’s case in 2015.

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