The first turbine jacket foundation has been installed at Seagreen – Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm.
Two jackets operated by main contractor Seaway 7 made their way on a barge from Global Energy Group’s Port of Nigg in the Highlands of Scotland to the site 27km off the coast of Angus, arriving on Wednesday. It was met by the Saipem 7000 – the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each of the 2,000-tonne jackets.
The maiden voyage marked the start of works for the 1.1GW Seagreen Wind Farm project site, a £3bn joint venture between SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies. SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction of the project, supported by TotalEnergies, and will operate Seagreen on completion.
The installation campaign marks the first-ever gigawatt-scale deployment of suction caisson technology to fix offshore wind turbine foundations to the seabed.
Several barges will work in continuous rotation with each other carrying two jackets from Nigg to the offshore site before returning to Nigg for replenishment. Each journey from Nigg out to site will take approximately 36 hours depending on the weather.
More than 50 people are involved each time the barges head out to site including the on-shore team, ballast engineer, tug captain, crew, riggers, welders, tow master and pilot.
The overall turbine foundations installation campaign is supporting over 140 skilled jobs at Port of Nigg, delivering a green jobs boost and significant economic benefit to the Highlands and Scotland.
Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables said:
“It is fantastic to get our campaign to install all 114 wind turbine foundations is underway and on schedule for what will be the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm.
“It is testament to the skill of our project team and all our contractors including our Scottish and UK supply chain that we have been able to get to this landmark point.”
Philippe de Cacqueray, Head of Offshore Wind UK at TotalEnergies said:
“Scotland’s energy transition is beginning to accelerate, and we have taken another important step towards the Net-Zero goal. TotalEnergies is delighted that Seagreen has now installed the first jacket at what will become Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.”
A lease agreement between Crown Estate Scotland and Seagreen has been signed for rights to access the required area of the seabed which allows the project to move on to this next stage of its development.
Colin Palmer, Director of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said:
“This is an extremely important development in the expansion of the Scottish offshore wind sector, as we continue to take strides towards a Net-Zero future for the country and comes just weeks prior to Scotland playing host to the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
“We have worked very closely with the Seagreen team throughout the project’s development stage, and we look forward to continuing to do so in the years to come as the wind farm itself starts to take shape. It is major projects like this which will help unlock the huge potential of Scotland’s seas to decarbonise our energy market and deliver lasting benefits to communities.”
Lloyd Duthie, Managing Director EPCI Projects at Seaway 7 said:
“As the main contractor constructing Seagreen, we are pleased to be contributing to Scotland’s offshore wind sector and an efficient and sustainable energy supply for the future.
“The installation of the first Seagreen jacket is a momentous milestone for everyone involved in the project, only 16 months after contract award and a testament to the hard work of the thousands of people bringing Seagreen to life across the supply chain.
“We’ll continue the jacket installation campaign through 2021 and 2022 as we lay Seagreen’s foundations. Later this year our cable lay vessels will start the installation of the inner array grid cables. These cables will connect the network of turbines and transport future electricity generated by the wind turbines to the offshore substation – ready for transport onshore.
Tim Cornelius, CEO, Global Energy Group said:
“We are delighted to be supporting the storage and marshalling activities for the Seagreen project at the Port of Nigg. Seeing this major milestone achieved is a testament to the significant contributions of everyone involved.
“It is major projects like this which will help the Scottish supply chain benefit from efforts to decarbonise our energy market in the UK. We look forward to welcoming the remaining components over the coming months and to supporting SSE Renewables in all of their future development endeavours”.
Each jacket foundation will support a Vestas V164-10 MW turbine.
First power is expected by early 2022 with the offshore wind farm expected to enter commercial operation in 2023. When complete, the 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm in the outer Firth of Forth will be Scotland’s largest, and the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm.
Image source: Courtesy of SSE Renewables
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