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12/04/2023 Press release

World’s deepest offshore wind turbine foundation installed in Scottish waters

Yellow foundation for offshore wind turbine being lifted into the sea by large crane

The world’s deepest wind turbine foundation has been installed at what will be Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm – Seagreen – off the coast of Angus. 

On Friday, the foundation (or ‘jacket’ as is the industry term) was transported to the project site on a barge operated by main contractor Seaway 7 where it was met by the Saipem 7000 – the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each of the 2,000-tonne turbine foundations into place. 

The installation of the jacket means Seagreen has now topped its own record from October 2022, when a previous foundation was installed at a depth of 57.4 metres (approximately 188 feet). The deepest foundation has been installed at a depth of 58.6 metres.

The significant milestone also marks the installation of the 112th jacket at the 114-wind turbine wind farm which is a £3bn joint venture between SSE Renewables and TotalEnergies. 

Welcoming the news, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said: "This is another terrific milestone for both Scotland and the UK's world-leading offshore wind industry.

"As I saw first-hand last week, Seagreen is making history with the world’s deepest wind turbine foundation which, once operational, will play an invaluable role in powering more of Britain from Britain.”

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, Neil Gray MSP said: “We already know that Scotland has the skills, innovation and natural resources to be a true world-leader in offshore wind technology – from ScotWind, to INTOG, to the spectacular Seagreen installation. 

“As set out in our draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, offshore wind power will play a key role in our energy transition, and the Scottish Government will continue to support the sector to continue to deliver innovative, landmark projects like this - not only generating clean, green energy, but delivering increasing economic benefits across our wider supply chains and communities.”

John Hill, Seagreen’s Project Director, said: “Reaching this major milestone is testament to the skill of our project team and all our contractors including those who are part of our Scottish and UK supply chain.

“More than 50 people are involved each time a foundation installation takes place including the onshore team, ballast engineer, tug captain, crew, riggers, welders, tow master and pilot.

“Our ability to install jackets at this depth, in what is a challenging geographical area, boosts the UK’s energy security and means that consumers can benefit from the strong winds available far out in the North Sea.”

Each foundation will support a Vestas V164-10 MW turbine. First power was achieved in August 2022 with the offshore wind farm expected to enter commercial operation later this year.  

When complete, the 1.1GW wind farm will be capable of generating enough clean, secure, sustainable electricity to power more than 1.6 million UK homes.