New wind farm Moray West now part of connected grid

By Oliver Townsend Jul 3, 2024
Moray West wind farm connected to grid for the first time.jpegOrginal image from:

The Moray West wind farm, one of Scotland’s most powerful offshore wind farms, has successfully connected to the grid for the first time. Situated close to Helmsdale in Sutherland and north of Buckie, Moray West is on track to provide power to half of Scotland’s homes. With nearly a third of its 60 turbines already installed, the project is estimated to cost £2.5bn. The developer, Ocean Winds, based in Madrid, is co-owned by Portuguese and French energy firms.

Key Features of Moray West Wind Farm

Featuring turbines with blades measuring 108m (354ft) in length, Moray West is equipped with the largest turbines ever installed in British waters. The project aims to address renewable energy needs while minimizing the number of turbines required for power generation. With the help of Engie, a parent company, Moray West has secured contracts with tech giants like Amazon and Google for energy supply.

Installation Process and Components

The construction of Moray West involves assembling the massive turbines at the Nigg quayside facility in Easter Ross. The steel towers, standing at 120m (393ft) tall, support the gear box or nacelle, weighing around 700 tonnes. The project also includes monopiles made by Smulders Projects and seabed cables manufactured by JDR.

Economic Impact and Job Creation

Ocean Winds has highlighted the economic benefits of the project, with over 80 UK suppliers involved in construction and installation. While the wind farm is expected to create maintenance jobs in Buckie and Glasgow, the operation is monitored from Glasgow. The venture aims to replicate the success of the Moray East windfarm, which has already contributed significantly to the UK economy.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite the progress made by Moray West, challenges remain in the offshore wind sector. Issues such as rising finance costs and supply chain bottlenecks need to be addressed to sustain growth. Developers like Ocean Winds are pushing for stable policies and supportive regulations to boost investor confidence. The completion of Moray West marks a significant milestone in Scotland’s renewable energy journey, paving the way for further advancements in the offshore wind industry.

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