The first offshore wind turbine jacket foundation has been installed at Seagreen – Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm under construction - using Saipem 7000 crane vessel.
Loaded on a barge at Global Energy Group’s Port of Nigg in the Highlands of Scotland, two jackets last week arrived at the site 27km off the coast of Angus, where they were met by the Saipem 7000 – the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each of the 2,000-tonne jackets.
The installation marks the start of works for the 1.1GW Seagreen Wind Farm project site, a £3bn 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.
According to the Seagreen project website information, the installation campaign marks the first-ever gigawatt-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. More than 50 people are involved each time the barges head out to site including the on-shore team, ballast engineer, tug captain, crew, riggers, welders, tow master and pilot.
Lloyd Duthie, Managing Director EPCI Projects at Seaway 7, which is the main EPCI contractor at the project, said: “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. “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. 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.
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. When complete, the 1.1GW Seagreen offshore wind farm in the outer Firth of Forth will be Scotland’s largest, and the world’s deepest, fixed-bottom offshore wind farm.