The survey vessel Normand Flower was used for a geotechnical survey to support the design of wind turbines and offshore substation foundations for the project. Credit: Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) Ltd.
The Port of Nigg will be used as the base for pre-assembly and wind turbine installation. Credit: Global Energy Group.
A new onshore substation will be built at Whitehillock as part of the grid connection. Credit: Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) Ltd.
Moray West will use Siemen’s Offshore Transformer Module (OTM®) technology, which was also used for Moray East. Credit: Ocean Winds.

Moray West is an 882MW offshore wind farm being developed in the outer Moray Firth region of Scotland.

With a 95% interest, Ocean Winds, a 50:50 joint venture between ENGIE and EDP Renewables (EDPR), is developing the project. Ignitis Group holds the remaining 5% stake in the wind farm.

Once operational, the Scottish wind farm is expected to cater to the power requirements of 650,000 households in Scotland and have an operational life of 25 years.

Furthermore, it is expected to contribute to Scotland’s ambition of achieving net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. The project is estimated to provide a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions of 1.1 million tonnes.

Preliminary preparation works at the site of the project’s Whitehillock onshore substation began in February 2022, while onshore preparation works for the cable corridor started the following month.

Main civil and installation works for the project are expected to begin in July 2022, while first power is expected in 2024.

Moray West wind farm details

To be located 22km from the coast, the wind farm will be developed over an area of 225km². It will be equipped with 60 Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines installed on fixed monopile seabed foundations.

The project will include both offshore and onshore developments. The offshore section will involve the construction of two offshore substations and installation of approximately 275km of inter-array cables.

Onshore development will include a new onshore substation that will be built at Whitehillock.

Turbine details

Each SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine will be able to generate 14.7MW of electricity. The turbine incorporates the IntegralBlade® technology, which involves the fibreglass-reinforced epoxy resin blades being cast in one piece without any glued joints.

Each turbine will have a rotor diameter of 222m, swept area of 39,000m² (419,792.5ft²) and three 108m-long blades.

Cable route and grid connection

The length of the offshore section of the cable corridor is approximately 65km, while that of the onshore section is 31km.

The offshore cables exporting the electricity generated from the wind farm will make landfall to the east of Sandend Bay, on the Aberdeenshire Coast. These cables will connect with the onshore cables at the transition joint bays, which will be located near the coast above Broad Craig.

The electricity will be transported by the onshore cables to the proposed onshore substation at Whitehillock, located off the A96 road, and then to the Blackhillock substation, near the town of Keith, for connection with the national grid.

The project will use 220kV high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) subsea and onshore export cable systems.

Contractors involved

Siemens Gamesa received a contract to supply the turbines for the Moray West wind farm in June 2022. The contract also includes a service agreement for the turbines. The company will produce 180 IntegralBlades for the project at its factory in Hull, England.

Installation services company Cadeler was engaged by Siemens Gamesa for the transportation and installation of the Moray West project turbines in June 2022. The company will use its Wind Orca installation vessel to execute the contract.

Port Nigg in Cromarty Firth was announced as the planned location for pre-assembly and wind turbine installation works in January 2022.

Siemens Energy and lemants, a subsidiary of Smulders, were contracted to supply two offshore substation platforms for the project in December 2021. The substation platforms will be based on Siemens Energy’s Offshore Transformer Module (OTM®) technology.

Siemens Energy was also selected to provide an onshore substation for the wind project in the same month.

Fabrication and engineering company Lamprell signed a capacity reservation agreement for the supply and shipping of 62 transition pieces for the wind farm in January 2022.

Nexans was engaged to design, manufacture and install onshore and offshore export cable systems for the project in December 2021. It will use the Nexans Skagerrak vessel to lay the offshore cables.

Dajin Offshore Heavy Industry, a Chinese offshore energy equipment manufacturer, received a contract to supply 48 monopiles for the project in June 2022.

Fugro GB Marine was appointed to undertake geotechnical site investigations at the wind farm site. It was supported by Vysus Group, an engineering and technical consultancy based in Scotland.

In April 2022, recruitment consultancy Taylor Hopkinson received a contract to supply project experts across manufacturing, construction, installation, commissioning, and operations and maintenance.

Mech-Tool Engineering (MTE) was engaged to provide the design, engineering, fabrication and delivery of eight modular buildings for the project in May 2022.

IKM Consulting was contracted to conduct civil works in support of Nexans’ work on two onshore circuits. The contractual scope includes design works for circuit route and corridor, utility infrastructure, carriageway and watercourse crossings, site compound, and temporary access point and haul road.

Moray West project background

The licence for the development of the Moray Firth Zone (Zone 1) was awarded in 2010. The zone was divided in two, namely Moray East and Moray West.

First power at Moray East was achieved in June 2021. Work at the Moray West project was delayed due to constraints in the west zone. The development of Moray West started in 2016 after the project received seabed rights from The Crown Estate.

All the required permits for the development of the project were received in 2019. Geotechnical and geophysical surveys for the onshore and offshore sections of the project were undertaken in 2019.

Investigation surveys at the offshore site were conducted between September and November 2021.