Scotland’s biggest planned offshore wind farm begins generating power as $4.3bn Seagreen project bears fruit
- Seagreen is being jointly developed by SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies
- When fully operational, the project will have 114 turbines, each 187 metres tall
- The UK already has the second largest offshore wind power capacity by country
A $4.3billion offshore wind project intended to be Scotland’s largest has begun generating its first power following a decade of development.
Jointly developed by SSE Renewables and French group TotalEnergies, Seagreen is situated around 17 miles off the coast of Angus and is the world’s deepest fixed bottom wind farm.
The two investors have said the scheme will provide a boost of more than £1billion to the Scottish economy, support around 3,000 jobs during construction, and create 700 permanent jobs.
New scheme: Jointly developed by SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies, Seagreen is situated around 17 miles off the coast of Angus and is the world’s deepest fixed bottom wind farm
When fully operational, the project will be expected to have a total cost of around £3billion and have 114 turbines, each 187 metres tall, making them slightly smaller than the Scalpel skyscraper in the City of London.
It will also provide enough power for around 1.6 million households and cut more than 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide that would typically be generated by fossil fuels.
This will bring the UK Government closer to achieving its target of having 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by the end of the decade, on the way to becoming net zero by 2050.
Scotland’s government has a separate target to increase capacity to 11 GW by 2030. According to Scottish Renewables, the country currently has 1.9 GW installed.
The UK already has the second largest offshore wind power capacity on Earth, helped in large part by possessing some of the world’s biggest sea-based wind farms, including Hornsea One, Moray East, and Triton Knoll.
Paul Cooley, the director of offshore wind at SSE Renewables, said the start of power generation at Seagreen ‘is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project.
Warning: Independent energy consultancy Auxilione warned that British households could see their average energy bills skyrocket to over £6,500 by April next year
‘The project has already brought several benefits to the local community, the UK supply chain and, once completed, Seagreen will make a significant contribution to Scotland and the UK’s ambitious renewable energy targets.’
Seagreen’s milestone comes three days before energy regulator Ofgem announces how much the energy price cap will increase from October.
Analysts from Cornwall Insight have predicted that the cap will be raised to £3,553, an 80 per cent hike from the present level of £1,971, putting an even tighter squeeze on financially straitened Britons.
Meanwhile, independent energy consultancy Auxilione has warned that British households could see their average energy bills skyrocket to over £6,500 by April next year.
Natural gas prices soared yesterday after Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy producer, declared it would conduct maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline next week.
The Ukraine War’s escalation is behind much of the surge in energy prices, given that many European countries source a large share of their gas from Russia.
But energy costs in Britain have also been exacerbated by economies reopening when Covid restrictions were loosened, weak storage levels following a strong winter in 2020/21, and lower than average wind speeds.
Auxilione said: ‘The nervousness of the market appears to increase day-by-day as we edge closer to winter delivery, now just five weeks away, and no big positive news on the horizon.
‘The planned outages in a week’s time have captured the attention of the market and are driving concerns further – as yesterday’s market activity demonstrated.’