Moray East offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth, Scotland, on June 4 exported its first power to the national grid via its new substation south of New Deer in Aberdeenshire.
The 950MW wind farm is being developed by Moray Offshore Windfarm East Ltd (MOWEL), which is a joint venture company owned by Ocean Winds (56.6%) Diamond Green Limited (33.4%) and CTG (10%).
Scotland's largest offshore wind farm has yet to be fully constructed, with the completion expected later this year. Project planning enabled a generation to start on June 4 - before all turbines have been installed.
Ocean Winds, a 50-50 joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, has been developing offshore wind in the Moray Firth since EDPR won the rights to develop offshore wind in the Moray Firth in the UK’s 3rd round of offshore wind leasing in 2009.
The sea-bed made available by the Crown Estate at the time was divided in two – Moray East and Moray West – to allow the development of Moray East which had fewer constraints to take place first. The first of 100 V164 – 9.5MW MHI Vestas offshore wind turbines at the Moray East site was installed in January.
Spyros Martinis, CEO of OW, said Monday: "After a decade of work and co-operation with communities and businesses across the North East of Scotland, first generation is a proud and welcome achievement for all involved and represents one more step of Scotland’s energy transition path. But it's just the start from the first few turbines from our first project, there is much more to come.
In an email to Offshore Engineer, OW confirmed there were 40 wind turbines in operation at the wind farm site.
Dan Finch, Managing Director of Ocean Winds UK Ltd said: "We have always regarded Moray East as our first project; Moray West is 'shovel ready.'
Future development of offshore wind in Scottish waters, including the Moray Firth will be enabled by the ScotWind leasing process which closes on July 16, 2021, and will make new areas of Scottish seabed available for offshore wind development for the first time in a decade.
Finch said: "...we are delighted that the ScotWind process, which is making new areas of seabed available, will enable us to go on working with enterprises across north-east Scotland to continue the development of offshore wind in the Moray Firth. Our commitment to the Moray Firth is long term and we look forward to Moray West and ScotWind which will create opportunities through the next decade”.
Moray East will generate sufficient electricity to save 1.4 million tonnes CO₂ equivalent annually (assuming displacement of gas generation). Power will be generated at £57.50/MWhr, which, according to the operator is the lowest cost of any new renewable generation and 2/3 less than offshore wind farms in operation around the UK today (typically upward of £140/MWhr).