The Duke of Rothesay Undertakes Engagements in Caithness
Monday 29th July 2019
The Duke of Rothesay will visit the offices of Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited and SSE Renewables in Wick to mark the official opening of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, Scotland’s largest wind farm generating enough energy to power 450,000 homes.
The 588MW Beatrice Offshore Windfarm is the world’s fourth largest offshore wind farm – and Scotland’s biggest. Costing £2.5bn, Beatrice Offshore Windfarm is the largest-ever single private investment in Scotland, developed by Scottish headquartered renewable energy firm SSE Renewables, with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power Limited.
Situated 13km off the coast of Caithness, its 84 turbines will generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes, making a sizeable contribution to the GB power grid. As Scotland’s single largest source of renewable energy, Beatrice is making a major contribution towards offsetting harmful carbon emissions, combating climate change and meeting our net zero ambitions.
At peak construction, around 1,500 people were employed across all operations onshore and offshore and its construction has helped grow and support the British supply chain. Companies to benefit from contracts included CS Wind’s Machrahanish factory for towers, Global Energy Group’s Nigg Energy Park for turbine assembly, JDR Cables based in Hartlepool for array cables, Siemens Gamesa in Hull for blade manufacturing and Wick-based GMR Henderson for the restoration and development of the operations and maintenance base.
Construction started in May 2016, completed on time and under budget, breaking new ground in the offshore wind industry, globally. Through the building of Beatrice, £20m has been invested in the rejuvenation of Wick’s harbour front. Part of this investment has included the redevelopment of two, 200-year old buildings designed by Scottish architect, Thomas Telford which houses the operations and maintenance base for the project.
Up to 90 employees will be based in the buildings, with the majority coming from the local area. In addition Beatrice community benefit funds have been established to deliver sustainable investment in the local community for the lifetime of the project and are worth a total of £34m over the lifetime of the wind farm.
The largest proportion of these funds, £28m, will be distributed through the Scottish Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The remaining £6m will be the Beatrice Partnership Fund, which will be split between communities in Highland (£4m) and Moray (£2m).
Catch up on Prince Charles and Camilla’s most recent engagements in the latest issue of Royal Life.