The go ahead has been given for construction to begin on the £2.6Bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) project.
Energy company, SSE, has said that it has now reached financial close on the wind farm to be located off the Scottish coast. Work is due to begin on the project this year with offshore construction due to start in 2017.
The scheme is a joint venture with SSE owning 40%, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners 35%, and SDIC Power with 25%.
The project will see the installation of 84 turbines, which will be able to generate 588MW of power when up and running in 2019 – enough to power around 450,000 homes.
Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables at SSE, said: “We are delighted that Beatrice has achieved financial close. Contracts have already been placed with many UK based suppliers, and Siemens intend to undertake turbine blade construction from Siemen’s new manufacturing facility in Hull.
“Around £10M of investment is planned at Wick Harbour to house the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facilities and improving the existing RNLI facilities.
“We expect a peak of around 65 jobs during construction of the base with around 90 long-term jobs anticipated during the operational phase.
“Today’s decision reaffirms SSE’s commitment to offshore wind and we are proud to progress such a flagship project for the Scottish offshore wind industry and the UK’s skilled supply chain.”
WWF Scotland Director Lang Banks said: “Proceeding with the Beatrice offshore wind farm is great news for the climate and Scotland’s economy.
“This single project will almost quadruple our offshore wind capacity, helping to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as well as creating jobs and supporting local economic renewal.
“Scotland’s waters boast 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource and it is vital that we continue to tap into this invaluable resource in the future.”
The project was given consent by the Scottish government in March 2014 and the UK government a few months later approved an investment contract.
Amber Russ, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, and this industry, backed by the UK Government and benefiting from our access to the EU single market, is a success story going from strength to strength.
“This project will provide home-grown clean energy boosting skills and creating jobs and financial security for working people and their families in Scotland, and across the UK.”