Construction of a £2.6bn wind farm off the coast of Scotland has been given the green light today – two years after receiving a contract for difference from the UK government.
Energy giant SSE said it had reached financial close on the 84-turbine Beatrice Offshore Windfarm scheme in the Outer Moray Firth.
Preparations will begin this year with a start on site in 2017 and the wind farm expected to be fully operational before the end of this decade.
Main contractors for the project include Seaway Heavy Lifting, Subsea 7, Nexans and Siemens.
SSE renewables director Paul Cooley said contracts had already been placed with many UK-based suppliers.
“Today’s decision reaffirms SSE’s commitment to offshore wind and we are proud to progress such a flagship project for the Scottish offshore wind industry and the UK’s skilled supply chain,” he said.
“It shows SSE will continue to play its part in investing in the critical energy infrastructure the country needs to power homes across the UK both today and in the future.”
Energy secretary Amber Rudd added: “The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, and this industry, backed by the UK Government and benefiting from our access to the EU single market, is a success story going from strength to strength.
“This project will provide home-grown clean energy boosting skills and creating jobs and financial security for working people and their families in Scotland, and across the UK.”
Beatrice was among the first schemes to be rubber-stamped for subsidy through the contract for difference scheme.