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First power from Moray West Offshore Wind Farm successfully achieved

By Kyle Ritchie

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First power has been successfully achieved from the first series of wind turbines as part of the Moray West Offshore Wind Farm, and exported to the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS).

Construction vessels have used the ports of Invergordon and Nigg in the Cromarty Firth, whilst Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) operate from Buckie harbour.

The 882MW wind farm is nearing the end of the construction phase and will become fully operational in 2025 in line with the originally projected commercial operations date.

First power has been successfully achieved from the first series of wind turbines as part of the Moray West Offshore Wind Farm.
First power has been successfully achieved from the first series of wind turbines as part of the Moray West Offshore Wind Farm.

The Moray West project, under the stewardship of Ocean Winds, has made commendable strides in construction, effectively navigating a rigorous timeline.

Following installation of all foundations, the offshore substations, and array-cables, the rest of the turbine components are currently being pre-assembled at the Port of Nigg prior to offshore installation.

At the onshore substation, construction work is being finalised on the second circuit, following commissioning of the first.

The export cables are in place, buried within the pre-defined cable corridor, completing the electrical connection between the wind turbines, and the NETS at Blackhillock substation.

Bautista Rodriguez, chief operating officer of Ocean Winds, said: “Announcing first power for Moray West in the current international context marks Ocean Winds’ commitment to successful delivery, adaptability, reactivity and resilience, as well as highlighting the tremendous work from our teams.

“With two more projects in development in the United Kingdom and Moray East already operating, we are proud to take an active and growing part in the United Kingdom’s energy transition.

“Our long-term presence in the Moray Firth region developing supply chain, unlocking local opportunities and generating clean energy through state-of-the-art offshore wind projects is the perfect example of what Ocean Winds is committed to delivering in its 16 secured projects worldwide.”

Pete Geddes, project director for Moray West, said: “I am so proud of the Moray West project team, and our supply chain partners, which have worked tirelessly, professionally, and safely to ensure we are able to celebrate reaching the First Power milestone on Moray West.

“I am delighted that we have been able to maintain the project timeline, and I’m looking forward to a timely handover to the new operations team in the first months of 2025.

“To meet UK government targets for offshore wind deployment, it is vital that policy is stable and supportive, to nurture investor confidence, and thereby avoid the risk of market and regulatory shock.”

Moray West, part of Ocean Winds’ 6GW portfolio of secured offshore wind farms in the UK, is expected to inject more than £800 million in the local Scottish economy throughout its lifespan, and during construction phases it will create more than 1500 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) years in Scotland, with 70 long-term operational roles based in Buckie.

More than half of the investment and operating costs of Moray West will benefit the UK economy, underlining Ocean Winds’ commitment to local supply chains.

Moray West is also supporting a number of local education and training goals, including transitioning of skilled workforce from the oil and gas sector, apprenticeship and internship programmes, as well as sponsoring PhD candidates focused on environmental studies.

The new and growing operational team in the coastal town of Buckie includes technicians and trainee technicians with the team taking responsibility for the project assets as they are commissioned. Over half the Ocean Winds operations team have an oil and gas background.

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