Offshore wind farm
The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm will be located on the north-western point of Smith Bank in the Outer Moray Firth, Scotland, approximately 13.5km away from the Caithness coastline.
Covering an area of 131km², the offshore wind farm will be located in close proximity to the Beatrice and Jacky oil platforms. Upon completion, the project will generate 588MW of renewable electricity, which will be enough to meet the electricity needs of 450,000 UK households.
The project was approved by the Scottish Government in March 2014. Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (BOWL), a partnership of SSE (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) (35%) and SDIC Power (25%), will be responsible for the construction.
Offshore construction is expected to begin in 2017, and the wind farm will be commissioned in 2019. The wind farm is expected to employ 890 people during construction and 90 during operational stages.
The wind farm will be installed with 84 Siemens wind turbines, capable of generating 7MW of power each, with 154m diameter rotors.
All the wind turbines will be mounted on pre-piled jacket substructures, which will be installed at water depths of 55m. The management, designing, engineering, fabrication and installation of the substructures will be managed by Subsea 7 in collaboration with Seaway Heavy Lifting.
The wind farm will also include Siemens onshore and offshore substations. The offshore substations will include two offshore transformer modules (OTMs), which will be connected together. The OTMs are one-third in size and weight in comparison to conventional alternating-current (AC) platforms and, therefore, result in cost-saving, as no special heavy lift vessel is required for installation.
The operations and maintenance base of the wind farm will be located at Wick Harbour. The wind turbines will be serviced and maintained by Siemens for a period of 15 years.
A consortium of Siemens Transmission and Distribution and Nexans will provide the transmission system.
Siemens will provide the offshore grid connection, while Nexans will supply two 90km-long 220kV export cable circuits along with 260km onshore and offshore cables, in mid-2016.
Installation and trenching of the cables is expected to begin in late-2017 using the cable laying ship C/S Nexans Skagerrak and its Capjet system, respectively. Nexans was awarded a $356.4m contract to undertake the works.
The power produced by the turbines will be transferred to the OTMs with the help of 33kV array cables and will be converted into 220kV by the OTMs before being transferred to the onshore substation.
The power will be further stepped up to 400kV at the substation and then transmitted to the grid network.
The Beatrice offshore wind project will attract an investment of $3.7bn, which is claimed to be one of the biggest private investments in Scottish infrastructure.
European Investment Bank (EIB) supports the investment, with active participation from the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
The project is expected to inject approximately $990m into the UK and Scottish economies.
Danish energy firm Danske Commodities signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with BOWL in January 2016 for buying 294MW electricity, which is equivalent to 50% of the total energy produced by the plant.
Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) was selected to manufacture 26 jacket substructures for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm.
Swire Blue Ocean was awarded a contract by Siemens to supply a wind farm installation vessel for the installation of 84 Siemens wind turbines.
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