The first power has flowed from Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm, the 1.075GW Seagreen project 27 kilometres off the nation’s east coast, south of Aberdeen.
Co-owners TotalEnergies announced this morning that the first of 114 turbines was commissioned yesterday, on track to have the £3 billion venture commercially operating by mid-2023. Electricity for 1.6 million homes, around two-thirds of Scotland’s total, is the target.
Anchored on the seabed up to 59 metres deep, the project is operating in the world’s deepest waters reached by a generating farm.
Total owns 51% of the venture, against SSE Renewables’ 49%. SSE will operate Seagreen. Nearly 0.5GW of its output is covered by a 15-year contract for difference, running until 2034.
Foundation installations began in mid-2021. Vestas 10MW turbines, each with blades 164 metres in diameter, top each footing on the seabed.
Onshore assembly – pictured – took place at the Port of Nigg, in the Highlands north of Inverness.
Vincent Stoquart, TotalEnergies’ senior vice president for renewables, said Seagreen’s generating debut marked a new step in the company’s offshore capacity.
“This milestone will contribute directly to our objective of reaching 35 GW of renewable electricity capacity worldwide by 2025,” said Stoquart.
The new power source is among 11 GW of marine turbines, one-third of them floating, the French-controlled company currently has under development in British waters.
In February 2021 Total and partner Corio Generation won rights to develop Outer Dowsing, a 1.5GW farm off the coast of Lincolnshire. In January Total, with Corio and independent developer RIDG, secured rights over the West of Orkney windfarm, a 2 GW venture, forming part of the Scotwind leasing round.
Seagreen is second in size globally only to each of the three confirmed phases of Hornsea, located in the southern North Sea off Humberside. The 1.2GW Hornsea One build-out began generating in January 2021. The 1.3GW Hornsea Two span this year for the first time.
A possible fourth phase of Hornsea is currently in pre-application scoping and assessment.