First there was oil.

 

In 1980, a small oilfield of three platforms began operating around 24km from the Caithness coastline.

The Beatrice Oil Field - as it became known - was discovered and developed by Mesa Petroleum and named after Mesa founder T. Boone Pickens' wife.

The daily production of around 8,000 tonnes of oil was piped to the nigg Energy Park in the Cromarty Firth for storage and shipment.

By the early 2000s, the challenge of climate change brought added urgency to the need to develop new renewable sources of energy.

Then wind.

In 2007, two 5MW demonstrator wind turbines were installed near to the Beatrice Oil Field as part of a venture between SSE and Talisman Energy (UK), evaluating the feasibility of building a commercial scale offshore wind farm in deep water at a reasonable distance from the point of grid connection.

The evaluation project was to last for five years and the electricity generated was fed to the nearby Beatrice Alpha oil platform.

Successful deployment.

The deployment and operation of the demonstrator turbines was successful and in 2009, development work on the 'new' Beatrice offshore wind farm began.

With and extensive coastline and significant wind resource, a larger Beatrice would be able to generate clean electricity free from carbon dioxide and in a highly efficient way.

Applications submitted.

An application for an offshore wind farm with up to 277 wind turbines was submitted in April 2007, with planning permission in principle given in October of that year.

And, in 2009, the Crown Estate awarded seabed exclusivity to the then development partnership of SSE Renewables and SeaEnergy Renewables.

HISTORY

TIMELINE

Beatrice is officially opened by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

29 July 2019

£20m restoration for Wick Operations and Maintenance Base and harbour works complete

May 2019

Beatrice reached 587.9MW (out of 588MW) of wind powered output

31 May 2019

The last of the 84 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines is installed by the Pacific Orca heavy lifting vessel

15 May 2019

3/4 of the 84 turbines are now installed

25 February 2019

1/2 of the wind turbines safely installed

December 2018

Offshore cable installation completed

21 August 2018

First power exported from Beatrice to the National Grid

19 July 2018

First Siemens Gamesa wind turbine installed by the Swire Blue Ocean installation vessel 'Pacific Orca'

14 July 2018

Final jacket substructure installed by the 'Oleg Strashnov' installation vessel

11 July 2018

Turbine components begin to arrive at Nigg marshalling and construction yard ahead of deployment offshore

May 2018

Last of the two Offshore Transformer Modules installed

April 2018

The first of the turbine blades are manufactured at the Siemens Gamesa plant in Hull

February 2018

The first of the two Offshore Transformer Modules leaves Rosyth and is installed on site

February 2018

Last of the 344 foundation piles installed by the Heavy Lifting vessel 'Stanislav Yudin'

December 2017

Work begins on re-purposing the disused corner of Wick harbour with slipway removal being the first activity

November 2017

First of the 86 jacket substructures is installed

August 2017

First of 344 foundation piles installed marking the start of offshore construction

April 2017

Renovation of two Thomas Telford buildings in Wick begins, which will become the long term operational base

March 2017

Breaking of the ground near Portgordon, Moray, marks the start of onshore cable installation work

October 2016

Construction begins at the Beatrice Blackhillock substation

May 2016

Financial close providing the green light for the construction of Beatrice to begin

May 2016

UK Government awards planning consents

2014

Consent applications submitted

2012

Development of Beatrice begins

2009

© 2019 Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd.