The first turbine jacket foundation has been installed at Seagreen, Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm. 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.

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 27 km off the coast of Angus. It was met by the Saipem 7000, the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each of the 2,000 ton jackets.

The maiden voyage marked the start of works for the 1.1 GW Seagreen Wind Farm project site, a 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 GW-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.

“It is fantastic to get our campaign to install all 114 wind turbine foundations in underway and on schedule for what will be the world’s deepest, fixed bottom offshore wind farm,” says Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables. “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.”

“Scotland’s energy transition is beginning to accelerate, and we have taken another important step towards the Net-Zero goal,” states Philippe de Cacqueray, head of offshore wind UK at TotalEnergies. “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 seabed which allows the project to move on to this next stage of its development.

“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,” adds Colin Palmer, director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland.

“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,” comments Lloyd Duthie, managing director of EPCI projects at Seaway 7. “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,” continues Duthie. “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.”

“It is major projects like this which will help the Scottish supply chain benefit from efforts to decarbonize our energy market in the UK,” mentions Tim Cornelius, CEO, Global Energy Group. “We look forward to welcoming the remaining components over the coming months and to supporting SSE Renewables in all of their future development endeavors.”

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