Beatrice is operated and maintained from its base at Wick harbour in the far north east of Scotland.
Wick was chosen as the location for the operational base due to its close proximity to the wind farm (around 40 minutes by Crew Transfer Vessel) and because the harbour had much of the infrastructure required to support the wind farm operations.
There are up to 90 personnel tasked with safely operating and maintaining Beatrice many of whom travel offshore daily to complete a rolling programme of works and activities.
There is also a helicopter based at Wick airport which provides additional transport and support when conditions or needs require it.
Returned to martime industry
We invested around £20m in Wick, sensitively renovating two largely derelict harbour front buildings and re-purposing a formerly disused corner of the inner harbour area.
The buildings, designed by renowned Scottish architect and engineer Thomas Telford, were originally built to support the herring industry some 200 years ago. We have sensitively restored them to provide a modern state of the art operational facility which includes offices, warehousing and welfare facilities.
The formerly disused corner of the inner harbour has now pontoons and all of the required infrastructure to support the berthing and operation of up to 6 Crew Transfer Vessels.
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.