SSE Renewables has announced the installation of the world’s deepest offshore wind turbine foundations at what it claims will become Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm off the coast of Angus.
The foundation, also known as the “jacket”, had been transferred to the Seagreen wind farm on the 7 April by contractor Seaway 7. It was then taken by a submersible crane vessel, the Saipem 7000, to be installed on the seabed. The foundations weigh about 2000 tonnes each.
SSE has beaten its own record, from October 2022, when it installed foundations at a depth of 57.4 metres (188 feet). The latest foundations have been installed at 58.6 metres below sea level. It is the 112th jacket to be installed at the wind farm, which will have 114 turbines.
The project is a £3 billion joint venture between SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies. SSE said the final turbine foundation would be installed later this week.
SSE recently announced plans to build the UK’s largest offshore windfarm at Berwick Bank in Scotland. The project could generate 4.1GW of electricity and is situated 38km off the coast of East Lothian. A final decision on the project is expected later in 2023.
The Seagreen wind farm started producing electricity in August 2022, and has a capacity of 1,075MW. SSE’s offshore wind pipeline includes the £3.6 billion Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, which is set to be the world’s largest, and the £580 million Viking onshore wind farm.
Neil Gray MSP, the economy secretary for the Scottish Government, said: “offshore wind power will play a key role in our energy transition, and the Scottish Government will continue to support the sector to continue to deliver innovative, landmark projects like this”.
“Seagreen is an important part of SSE’s £12.5 billion Net Zero Acceleration Plan, through which we’re investing £7 million a day in critical low-carbon infrastructure that will help the UK achieve energy independence. By the end of the decade, we have plans to invest over £24 billion in Britain alone,” said Alastair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE.
Seagreen’s project director John Hill paid tribute to the staff who installed the jackets. “More than 50 people are involved each time a foundation installation takes place… Our ability to install jackets at this depth, in what is a challenging geographical area, boosts the UK’s energy security and means that consumers can benefit from the strong winds available far out in the North Sea,” he said.
SSE also announced this week that it was holding public consultations in Ireland as it seeks permission to build the Yellow River Wind Farm in Co Offaly. SSE is seeking to inform the local community about the economic benefits of the wind farm and its associated community benefit fund.
“SSE Renewables will contribute £1.76 (€2) per MWh generated to local community groups and projects with an approximated £524,000 (€595,000) per annum for the community benefit fund, over the course of 15 years”, the company said in a statement.