UPDATE - Work starts on 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland

Siemens turbines at Westermost Rough wind farm. Source: Siemens AG. www.siemens.com/press

May 23 (SeeNews) - SSE Plc (LON:SSE) and its partners in the 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind project in Scottish Territorial waters announced today that manufacturing and construction works are kicking off.

The project has reached financial close and work at the planned operations and maintenance facility at Wick Harbour and transmission works in Moray are commencing this year. Offshore construction will start in 2017, with the wind park in the Outer Moray Firth planned to be fully operational in 2019.  

German industrial group Siemens (ETR:SIE) will be supplying 84 pieces of its SWT-7.0-154 turbines, with the blades to be made at the manufacturing facility in Hull, it said in a separate release. Installation of the turbines, using jacket foundations in ocean depths of 35 to 56 meters, is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018.

SSE holds a 40% stake in the GBP-2.6-billion (USD 3.8bn/EUR 3.4bn) Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has a 35% interest, and China’s SDIC Power owns the other 25%, marking its first project in the European offshore wind market. The Chinese company acquired the stake from Spanish oil group Repsol in February.

Apart from the turbine supply, installation and commissioning contract, Siemens has also been awarded a 15-year service contract. In addition, it will be responsible for the offshore grid connection to the mainland in consortium with French cabling solutions expert Nexans (EPA:NEX. The latter will supply the export cables, both offshore and onshore.

Siemens will deliver for the project two offshore transformer modules, one third smaller in size and weight when compared to a conventional alternating-current (AC) platform.

In the summer of 2014, the UK government awarded an early investment contract to Beatrice under the Contracts for Difference (CfD) programme.

(GBP 1 = USD 1.452/EUR 1.293)

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