Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has secured its largest stand-alone wind turbine order in Europe to date, being selected by Irish company SSE Renewables to supply more than 100 turbines to the huge Viking Wind Farm in the UK.
The 443MW Viking Wind Farm is being developed on the Shetland Islands, a group of islands in the Northern Isles of Scotland in the Northern Atlantic – a location ideally suited to a wind farm.
The Viking project is expected to generate almost 2TWh of energy each year – the equivalent to power almost half a million homes annually while reducing carbon emissions by half a million tonnes each year.
Upon completion, the Viking Wind Farm will be the UK’s largest and most productive onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output. For this reason, its development sits alongside plans for an undersea cable connecting the Shetland Islands to Great Britain – the first physical connection to the UK mainland in the islands’ history.
The high-voltage DC cable could carry up to 600MW of power, while the islands’ average winter consumption is only 50MW, according to Shetland News.
Made up of 103 V117-4.2 MW wind turbines supplied by Vestas, upgraded to 4.3MW each in Power Optimised Mode, the project is expected to begin seeing turbine deliveries and commissioning in the first quarter of 2023 and completion in 2024.
Vestas’ V117-4.2 MW wind turbines are specifically suited to withstand extreme wind conditions, making it a good fit for the wind farm, located as it is on the exposed Shetland Islands.
“This contract represents another significant milestone for our Viking project,” said Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables. “We are delighted to be working with Vestas again with whom we have a significant track record of project delivery. The optimised V117-4.2MW machines provide the durability and performance that we require to ensure that Viking delivers to its full potential.
“Viking will be the largest onshore wind farm in the UK by output and will bring significant economic opportunities to Shetland and beyond including the ambition by Vestas to establish a Shetland-based service team providing high quality employment and apprentice opportunities,” Cooley said.
“We are pleased to continue our cooperation with SSE Renewables, an excellent partnership that dates back 20 years,” said Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern and Central Europe.
“The Viking project creates a highly competitive business case for our customer and sends a strong signal for economic growth and green recovery in Shetland, the UK and beyond. It is an honour for us to contribute to the success of this landmark wind project.”
Vestas also signed a long-term service agreement for the Viking project and is looking at establishing a Shetland Island-based service organisation which would provide high quality employment opportunities supported by an apprenticeship program.