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Building Beatrice


At Portgordon, on the Moray coastline, our contractors installed two pipes running under the beach to about 500m offshore.

The subsea export cables were pulled through these pipes and joined to underground cables leading from Portgordon to the Blackhillock substation - a distance of around 20km.

The image to the right shows the export cable being run out from the 'Skagerrack' cable laying vessel offshore and the cable pull underway via the pipe under the beach.

Underground cabling

Installing the underground cables along the 20km route was a challenge due to the varying terrain and the need to complete the work with the least disruption possible.

One of the solutions deployed was the use of directional tunnelling, whereby obstacles such as roads, railways and rivers could be passed by tunnelling beneath them using this technique as demonstrated in the image to the left.

Once completed, any areas disturbed by the installation of the cables were reinstated so that there will be little evidence of the existence of the cables at all.

Blackhillock substation

The Beatrice substation at Blackhillock in Moray was built alongside a larger substation operated by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

The electricity generated by the Beatrice turbines is transmitted via subsea and underground cables (a total distance of around 90km) to the substation where it is transformed from 220,000 volts to 400,000 volts.

From here it is exported to the adjacent SSEN substation for onward transmission on the national electricity network.

Some of the larger components, including the transformers, were delivered by boat to Buckie harbour and then transported by road using specialist multi-wheeled vehicles under police escort as shown in the image to the right taken in June 2017.

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