The 950MW Moray offshore wind farm (East), also known as Moray East offshore wind farm, is being developed in the Outer Moray Firth, 22km off the coast of Scotland.

It is the first of two wind farms planned to be developed in the Moray Firth Zone and was approved for the expansion of up to 1,116MW in 2016.

The project is being developed by Moray Offshore Wind Farm East (MOWEL), a joint venture of EDP Renewables (33.3%), Engie (23.3%), Diamond Green Limited (33.4%) and CTG (10%).

The wind farm will supply electricity at £57.50/MWh for 15 years under a Contract for Difference (CFD) signed with the UK Government in September 2017.

The construction of the offshore wind farm commenced in December 2018 with the estimated investment of £2.6bn ($3.3bn). The wind farm is scheduled to be operational in 2022.

The Moray East offshore wind farm will be able to fulfil approximately 40% of the total electricity demand in Scotland and can power 950,000 households in the UK.  The wind farm will offset 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Moray East offshore wind farm details

The Moray offshore wind farm will be developed over an area of 295km². It will be equipped with 100 MHI Vestas V164-9.5MW offshore wind turbine generators installed on 85m-long steel jacket foundations and steel piles. It will also feature an 86km underground export cable, of which 52km is offshore and 34km is onshore.

The wind farm will be installed with 100 66kV inter-array cables and three offshore substations. An onshore substation is also planned to be developed south-west of New Deer, Aberdeenshire, to deliver the electricity generated by the wind farm to the national grid. A total of 12 containers will be fitted with high-voltage transmission equipment or electrical monitoring and control protection equipment for the three offshore substation platforms. The fabrication of eight containers was completed at the JGC Engineering and Technical Services’ Thurso fabrication yard in July 2019. The demobilisation of work at the onshore sites of the project was announced in March 2020. The project work restarted after a halt due to Covid-19 crisis in May 2020, following the updated guidelines of the Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and Construction Scotland.

Moray offshore wind farm infrastructure

The Moray offshore wind farm will include a two-storey operations and maintenance (O&M) building, spanning 1,880m² and featuring a berthing facility for wind farm support vessels, and storage and unloading area.

The O&M facility will be developed in the Fraserburgh Harbour port in Aberdeenshire in north-east Scotland under an agreement signed with the port in June 2018.

Other onshore facilities, including a marine co-ordination centre, maintenance workshops, administration offices, and a control room will cover an area of 50,000m2.

MHI Vestas V164-9.5MW wind turbine details

Designed for offshore operation, the Vestas V164-9.5MW wind turbine has a rated capacity of 9.5MW. The maximum turbine blade-tip height is 204m. The turbine features a swept area of more than 21,124m². Each blade of the turbine is 80m long and weighs 35t.

The 390t nacelle of the turbine is 20m long and 8m wide, while the hub height is 105m and a tip height of the turbine is 187m.

Contractors involved

Siemens is the lead contractor of the project and the JGC Engineering and Technical Services is the supply chain partner. MOWEL signed a conditional agreement with Siemens for the onshore works and offshore substation platform topsides of the wind farm.

Siemens will construct a new onshore substation at New Deer in Aberdeenshire for connecting the Moray East project and the onshore export cables. JGC Engineering and Technical Services will provide high-voltage transmission equipment for the project.

Denmark-based offshore wind turbines supplier MHI Vestas Offshore Wind was awarded a contract to deliver and install 100 V164-9.5MW turbines for the wind farm.

Belgium-based geotechnical and offshore solutions provider GeoSea, a subsidiary of DEME, was awarded a contract for the supply and installation of turbine and substation foundations. The contract also includes the installation of offshore substation platforms.

Effiage, in a joint venture with GeoSea, received a contract worth €250m ($281.40) for the designing, supply and installation of 100 jacket foundations for the offshore project in March 2019.

Denmark-based electrical infrastructure supplier NKT was selected as the preferred bidder for the supply and installation of export cable systems. The company will install the cables, using its NKT Victoria cable-laying vessel.

VBMS, a provider of subsea power cable installation and a subsidiary of Boskalis, was selected as the preferred bidder to supply and install the inter-array cables on the wind farm.

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