Building Beatrice

May 2016 saw the green light given for construction to begin, with work beginning immediately near Portgordon on the Moray coastline.

The first priority was preparing for the installation of the export cable between Portgordon and the Blackhillock substation around 20km away.

Beatrice had three EPCI (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation) contracts in place with three tier-one contractors responsible for:

  • The design, manufacture and installation of the jacket substructures and array cables, and the installation of two Offshore Transformer Modules (OTMs).

  • The design, manufacture and installation of the 84 wind turbines.

  • The design, manufacture and construction of the OTMs and onshore substation, and the design, manufacture and installation of the onshore and offshore export cables.

Manufacturing Beatrice

With a capital expenditure of around £2.5bn, Beatrice was one of the largest ever private investments in Scottish infrastructure.

The manufacturing phase of the project provided opportunities for thousands of people in the UK to be employed and help build Beatrice.

Examples include:

  • BiFab in the Western Isles and Fife manufactured foundation piles and jacket substructures.

  • CS Wind in Campbeltown manufactured turbine tower sections.

  • JDR manufactured the inter array cables in Hartlepool.

  • Babcock in Rosyth assembled the OTM topsides.

  • Siemens Gamesa manufactured blades at their facility in Hull.

  • Smulders in Newcastle produced the majority of the UK-fabricated jackets used on Beatrice.

Prepared for all eventualities

 Transport to and from Beatrice is generally made by one of the Crew Transfer Vessels from Wick Harbour.

There is also the option of using the project helicopter located at Wick Airport when sea conditions prevent the vessels operating or when equipment is required to be hoisted on to the turbine nacelle which can't be done easily by vessel.

The turbine technicians can be lowered and lifted to and from the turbine nacelles by the hoist on the helicopter.

Vessel transfers from Wick to Beatrice take around 45 minutes and the helicopter can make the journey in less than 10 minutes.

In all cases, safety remains the absolute priority so where conditions dictate, the technicians remain ashore.

We also have facilities at Buckie Harbour on the Moray coastline which could be used in the event that vessels are unable to return to Wick Harbour. 

© 2019 Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd.