Wick Set To Become Beatrice Operation and Maintenance Base
31st July 2014
Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), a joint venture partnership formed between SSE Renewables (75%) and Repsol Nuevas Energias UK (25%), has announced that Wick Harbour is likely to become the future location of the Beatrice offshore wind farm Operation and Maintenance base (O&M).
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been finalised with Wick Harbour Authority and BOWL this week.
Subject to a positive final investment decision, the Beatrice project, which was consented by Marine Scotland in March 2014, and granted an Investment Contract by the UK government in May 2014, is planned for construction in 2016.
As well as generating up to 664MW of renewable electricity if constructed, the project is expected to bring a range of socioeconomic benefits to both the Moray and Highland regions including job creation, skills training opportunities and opportunities for local businesses through SSE's Open4Business events and online portal.
Further details on specific opportunities in each region will be announced as the project makes progress towards construction.
Richard Escott, Head of Offshore Development for SSE Renewables, said: "We are pleased to announce that an MoU has been signed with Wick Harbour Authority that could see Beatrice base its O&M facilities at Wick Harbour should a positive final investment decision be made on the project in 2016.
"It has been a lengthy process and the O&M options for the BOWL project have been investigated thoroughly using a strict set of criteria for local ports and harbours based on our business needs and our safety policy. Out of all the locations investigated, Wick presented the best fit for our project and we are hugely impressed by the existing facilities on offer."
Ronnie Bonnar, Managing Director of Repsol Nuevas Energias UK, said: "Our agreement with Wick Harbour Authority marks another key step for the BOWL project as we move towards a final investment decision in 2016.
“We are pleased that we have an agreement to use an existing harbour near our site to operate and maintain the wind farm and hope to make a positive contribution to the communities in which we live and work through the socioeconomic benefits."
The announcement was welcomed by Wick Harbour Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and The Highland Council:
Willie Watt, Chairman of Wick Harbour Authority said: “We are delighted that BOWL has signed a MoU which could see the Beatrice offshore wind farm invest in Wick Harbour to service the site. We look forward to working closely with BOWL in order to deliver what we hope will be a hub for offshore renewables in the Highlands."
Roy Kirk, HIE's Area Manager for Caithness and Sutherland, said: "It is fantastic that BOWL has announced Wick Harbour as its preferred O&M location. Caithness is well positioned to capitalise on the offshore industry and we are working hard to ensure that any opportunities are maximised for the local area."
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry, said: “Highland Council welcome this announcement today by BOWL that could lead to further investment in the facilities at Wick Harbour.”
A heavy lift pad costing over £400,000 has recently been completed at Wick harbour paving the way for very heavy loads to be moved onto the pier.
Today at Wick Harbour 'Rix Lynx'could be seen tied up. Wick Harbour is fast becoming a hive of activity with the work now well underway at the former Steven's yard.
Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) has begun renovating its new home in Wick with the help of a neighbour. Two buildings in Lower Pulteneytown are being redeveloped into the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for the £2.6bn Beatrice offshore wind farm project.
Public Engagement Event - Wick - 14 September 2016 4pm to 7pm at Mackays Hotel. On the 23rd May 2016, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) announced that the green light had been given for construction of the 588MW, 84 turbine Beatrice offshore wind farm situated in the Outer Moray Firth.
The Scottish cabinet was in Wick on monday 14th July 2014..
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.
Influential energy trade body Energy North has unveiled an ambitious new two-year business strategy which will see the organisation grow its physical presence and increase its support for member businesses and industry development across the North of Scotland. Over the coming months Energy North is to recruit three regionally-based area developers covering Caithness, Ross-shire and Inverness, Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and Argyll and Lochaber, with chief executive, Ian Couper leading on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.
Wick Harbour Authority's ambitious plans to attract new jobs to the area from the offshore wind industry have received a boost with the combined support of £450,000 from two partners in the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). The Harbour Authority is positioning the port to attract business from the two large offshore wind developments in the Moray Firth, and is currently working on a multi-phase programme to ensure that its facilities meet the requirements of industry.
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding of £30,098 to Wick Harbour Authority for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity at Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths. Interpretation panels will also be installed in the area around the harbour to promote the maritime heritage of Wick and provide information regarding the diversification process to create a modern port.
A number of ambitious Caithness companies are heading to Aberdeen this week to target new business at the UK's largest renewable energy event. The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference this year has attracted over 500 exhibitors from 20 countries across the world.
Wick, on the east coast of Caithness, received a major confidence boost this week, following news that a £576,000 funding package (loan and grant) has been secured to install a marina development in the town's harbour. The deal has required complex negotiations between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) which is providing the vital funding conduit.
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