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.
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.
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.
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.