Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wind turnbine enroute to oilfield

August 20, 2006

The first of two of the world's biggest offshore wind turbines has left a former Highlands oil fabrication yard.

The tower and its components were being taken by barge from Nigg, in Invergordon, to the Beatrice Field in the Moray Firth.

A Scottish-based consortium led by oil firm Talisman and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will test the deepwater turbines in a £35m pilot.

If successful, a full 200-turbine wind farm will be built 12 miles offshore.

Talisman Energy Project Director, Alan McAskill, spoke to BBC Scotland as work got underway to transfer the first turbine.

He said: "What we actually saw happen was the crane barge come away from the pier with all of the equipment on board which weighs about 1000 tonnes and is 120m tall by 100m wide with the blades on it.

Renewable energy

"It then connected up to the tug and sailed out of the Firth on its way to Beatrice where it should arrive for first light when the process of installing the turbine on the jackets will begin.

"When we get there we will lift it up, move it over, lower it down and put a fully assembled power turbine and blades in one lift, which will take about four or five hours."

When the transfer of both turbines is complete they will be tested in depths of about 45m, with the hubs rising to 88m above sea level. The blades will be 63m long.

It is hoped the site will be capable of generating one Gigawatt of electricity, enough renewable energy to power the city of Aberdeen.

European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs inspected the turbines at Nigg in July.

Government funding was secured two years ago, with £3m from the Scottish Executive and £3m from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Story from BBC

2006/08/20 21:03:56 GMT© BBC MMVI


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