Deep-water wind turbines

AMEC has been awarded a contract to design and manage delivery of the world’s first deepwater wind energy turbines 70 kilometres north east of Inverness, eastern Scotland.


AMEC, the international project management and services company, has been awarded a contract to design and manage delivery of the world’s first deepwater wind energy turbines in the Moray Firth approximately 70 kilometres north east of Inverness, eastern Scotland.


The contract, for Talisman Energy (UK) Limited and partner Scottish and Southern Energy, is being partly funded by the Scottish Executive, the DTI and the European Union.



Two 5MW turbines will be sited in 45 metres of water. They are part of a demonstration programme to prove technical and commercial viability of deepwater offshore wind turbines.



The project will develop new technologies and processes to enable Europe to take a global lead in deepwater offshore wind farms. The scheme will involve leading research bodies across Europe, including Strathclyde and Aberdeen universities.



Deepwater wind farms are less visually intrusive than land-based or shallow-water wind farms. However, their remoteness presents a challenge in transmitting electricity back to shore. The turbines will be located near to Talisman’s Beatrice oilfield where existing infrastructure and connections will be modified to accept electricity from the turbines for onward transmission to shore. The field’s production platforms will also provide a base to carry out turbine monitoring and maintenance.



Subject to planning approval, installation will be carried out during Summer 2006 and commissioning of first power will be completed by late Summer.



The Beatrice oilfield itself is located in UKCS Block 11/30 in the Moray Firth, approximately 75 miles north west of Aberdeen. Installations in the field are Beatrice Alpha (two fixed steel bridge-linked jacket platforms), Beatrice Bravo and Beatrice Charlie (both fixed steel jacket platforms). Bravo and Charlie are normally unmanned except when maintenance programmes are being undertaken. The field is currently producing 5,500 bbls/d of oil being exported by pipeline (approximately 77 kilometres) to Talisman’s Nigg terminal on the Scottish mainland.