The Beatrice offshore windfarm off the coast of Wick in the far north of Scotland will be formally opened by HRH The Prince of Wales today
The project in the Outer Moray Firth, which has 84 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy turbines, came online in May 2019.
The 588-MW windfarm is Scotland’s largest such project and first commercial-scale project. The project was completed on time and under budget after three years of construction and is the fourth-largest offshore windfarm in the world.
It was built by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL), a joint venture development led by SSE Renewables (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35%) and Red Rock Power Limited (25%).
Beatrice breaks new ground in the offshore wind industry, nationally and globally, in a number of respects, not least that it is the largest windfarm in the world built using jacket foundations, installed in the deepest water of any offshore site.
SSE Renewables has published a report containing independent analysis which demonstrates “transformative socio-economic benefits” that Beatrice delivers to the UK, Scotland and to the regions, not just during construction but for decades to come.
As the report documents, Beatrice will deliver a multi-billion pound economic boost to the UK economy over its full lifetime. From initial development to the end of its operational life, Beatrice is expected to generate £2.4Bn (US$3.0Bn) of gross value added for the UK economy, just over £1.0Bn (US$1.2Bn) of which will be in Scotland.
“Beatrice also provides new learnings which will inform how future offshore windfarms are developed and built,” said SSE Renewables, which said it would apply these learnings to maximise the socio-economic benefits of future offshore wind projects, including Seagreen off Scotland’s Angus Coast, Dogger Bank off England’s East Yorkshire Coast, the Greater Gabbard extension off the Suffolk Coast, and Arklow Bank Phase II off Ireland’s County Wicklow Coast.
The day before Prince Charles opened the windfarm, demolition work began at one of the UK’s best-known power stations, as one of the eight cooling towers at the coal-fired Ferrybridge Power Station came down.
The 2,000-MW Ferrybridge ‘C’ plant was built in 1961 and served the country for more than 50 years until its closure in March 2016, providing enough power annually to meet the energy needs of nearly 2M people.
SSE’s energy director, Martin Pibworth, said the two events illustrate how the energy industry is transforming in line with the UK’s ambition of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“The demolition works at Ferrybridge and the official opening of Beatrice are landmark moments for SSE and the UK energy industry. The two events taking place on consecutive days show the profound change that is taking place in the UK’s energy sector,” Mr Pibworth said.
“At its peak, Ferrybridge Power Station was capable of providing energy for nearly 2M people. Now, offshore wind projects like Beatrice will deliver the clean, large-scale, reliable power the UK needs, while boosting jobs and economic growth.
“Crucially, as the fourth-largest offshore windfarm in the world, Beatrice will make a major contribution towards combating climate change and meeting the UK’s ambitions for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “SSE advocated the adoption by the UK of a net zero emissions target by 2050 and we have set ambitious goals to help ensure we play our part in achieving it.”