The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) : 2019-11-18

NEWS : 83 : 19

NEWS

19 news THE PRESS AND JOURNAL November 2019 A test facility that managed to anger a future US president Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. The 11-turbine scheme cost more than £300 million. It is trialling next-generation technology and boosting the industry’s drive to competitiv­e clean power. First power was generated in the summer of 2018 and the scheme can make enough electricit­y to power 80,000 homes. It annually displaces more than 134,000 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of removing 35,000 cars from UK roads. Aberdeen Bay is home to the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstrat­ion facility. However, it has had one very high-profile opponent. There were legal challenges from US President Donald Trump, who claimed the turbines would spoil the views from his golf course at Balmedie. The project has been developed by Vattenfall­owned Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm and is supported by A developmen­t that could bring £1bn to economy Floating technology could be ‘the next wave’ in renewables Scotland’s largest operationa­l offshore wind farm was completed this summer. Beatrice, off the Caithness coast, is capable of providing enough electricit­y for up to 450,000 homes. The project, which features 84 turbines, involved capital expenditur­e of around £2.5 billion. It was one of the largest private investment­s ever in Scottish infrastruc­ture. It is operated and maintained by a team of up to 90 people from the Beatrice operations and maintenanc­e base at Wick Harbour. Beatrice, ranked as the fourthlarg­est offshore wind farm in the world, is a joint venture. The companies involved are: SSE Renewables (40% stake); Copenhagen Infrastruc­ture Partners (35%) and Red Rock Power (25%). The developmen­t, constructi­on and 25-year lifetime operation of Beatrice is expected to generate £2.4bn for the UK economy – with more than £1bn of the figure being north of the border. Recent analysis shows Beatrice contribute­d £460 million to the Scottish economy during the developmen­t and constructi­on phases, as part of a total £1.3bn boost to the wider UK economy. Over the life of the wind farm, the investment in the UK is expected to result in 800 jobs in the UK on average annually – almost half of them north of the border. Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables, said: “The successful commission­ing of Beatrice marks the end of a 10-year journey. In that time thousands of people have, directly and indirectly, contribute­d to the developmen­t and constructi­on of this world-class renewable generation site. “Beatrice delivers transforma­tive socio-economic benefits to the UK, Scotland and to the regions, not just during constructi­on but for decades to come.” Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “This study is very helpful in measuring how such a significan­t offshore wind project has benefited the Scottish economy and to help us understand the potential for further enhancing the use of Scottish supply chain content for future projects, as we work with our supply chain to fulfil the UK Offshore Wind Sector Deal. “To see that the lifetime economic impact of the project The first floating wind farm in the world started to deliver electricit­y to the Scottish grid two years ago. Hywind Scotland, 15 miles off Peterhead, can provide power for around 20,000 households. The wind farm is operated by Equinor in partnershi­p with Masdar. This floating technology can be used in water depths of more than 2,500ft and opens up areas that have been inaccessib­le for offshore wind. Equinor invested nearly £200 million in Hywind Scotland with its partner. The project features five floating wind turbines that are more than 800ft tall. Equinor is a Norwegian multinatio­nal energy company formerly known as Statoil. It describes itself as the world’s leading floating offshore wind developer. The company says nearly 80% of the oceans’ resource potential is in deep waters ideal for floating offshore wind power. It adds: “A few years ago, floating offshore wind was a distant dream symbolised by a solitary small-scale Hywind turbine offshore Norway. “Today, floating offshore wind is a viable and mature solution ready for market. “With Hywind Scotland, the world’s first fullyopera­tional floating wind farm, Equinor is at the forefront of developing this exciting new technology and unlocking the vast potential of floating offshore wind. “We believe floating offshore wind is the next wave in renewable energy and, within the next decade, we aim to make it a competitiv­e renewable energy source.” will exceed £1bn for the Scottish economy is very encouragin­g. “We know that the potential for bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind deployment in Scotland is huge. “The Scottish Government and our agencies are working to ensure that we maximise our renewable energy resources, whilst protecting our invaluable marine environmen­t. “We will continue to work with industry to ensure we maximise the economic impact from Beatrice itself. “We will seek to fully exploit the exciting, wider offshore wind sector opportunit­y that presents to the Scottish economy.”