Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) celebrates another milestone after the safe installation of the first jacket substructure offshore.
This week saw the installation of the first of 86 jacket substructures at the BOWL offshore construction site in the Outer Moray Firth, marking another major milestone for the £2.6bn renewable energy project.
Offshore construction began in April 2017 and has seen a number of vessels completing work off both the Caithness and Moray coastline. Until now, the biggest vessel used was Seaway Heavy Lifting's Stanislav Yudin, responsible for the installation of the foundation piles. The installation of the first jacket heralds the arrival of the largest vessel in the Seaway Heavy Lifting fleet; the Oleg Strashnov.
The Strashnov will complete the installation of the first phase of jackets, each of which weigh in the region of 1,000 tonnes, over the coming months. Jacket installation activities are forecast to continue until December 2017 and then resume in May 2018, weather permitting.
Steve Wilson, BOWL's project manager, said "Seeing the first jacket arrive from the fabricators in Newcastle and being installed offshore is yet another testament to the hard work and determination of everyone involved in the BOWL project."
"As well as being large complex structures, these jackets will be the deepest water fixed foundations of any offshore wind farm. It has taken significant time and resource to get them ready for installation in the Moray Firth so it's a great achievement to have the first one in place."
The jackets, which are up to 80m tall, have been fabricated at facilities in Fife, Newcastle,
Belgium and Denmark.
Eight four jackets will support the Beatrice wind turbines, the first of which is due to be installed in summer 2018. The remaining two jackets will each support a Siemens Offshore Transformer Module.
The Beatrice project, which will be operated from a base in Wick and capable of providing enough energy to power up to 450,000 homes, will be fully operational by the end of 2019.