Beatrice Comes Online delivering 588MW

Beatrice construction

Scotland has been working hard on its biggest ever windfarm, work began in 2016 on the farm named Beatrice. Its located 13km from Caithness coastlines.

 Recently it has been announced that the last of the 84 turbines has now been installed. Compared to other wind farms Beatrice is in the top 4 in the world, with this in mind these wind turbines will provide power for much of the surrounding homes up to 450,000 homes to be exact could be powered from this mammoth project.

 It has taken many years of careful planning and sourcing the materials to start this huge project, and this project is finishing just as offshore and onshore winds future is looking more and more uncertain.

Beatrice will not only be one of the largest farms in the world but also one of the deepest at 58m, it also boasts turbine heights of 617ft from bottom to tip of the its blades! Interestingly this project uses jacket foundations as the base for all 84 wind turbines and will be the largest wind farm to do so. The ship used to carry out the major works is the Pacific Orca it is specially equipped for this kind of heavy lifting and can lift out of the sea onto its legs to carry out the work safely.

This offshore wind project is quite an achievement for Scotland and its renewable future, offshore wind is one of the most effective ways to harness the natural energy from wind and produce clean electricity. With the UK set to produce more power in a low-carbon way offshore wind has a big role to play in coastal areas, it a reliable and affordable resource that will boost our clean energy supply.

And not only will Scotland benefit from the power generated but also from the jobs created by this windfarm. And operations and maintenance base will be created and could generate 90+ jobs for area, old buildings have been renovated and reused, along with local factory’s and businesses which have been brought business during the manufacturing process of the turbines and jackets.

Jim smith of SSE renewables said:

“Delivering one of Scotland’s largest ever private investments on time and under budget is a fantastic achievement given its complexity and we would like to thank everyone who has helped us make the project a reality.”

Beatrice will provide 588mw of power, taller than the London eye these powerhouse turbines are a symbol of our ever-changing attitude towards renewable energy, the Uk is by far one of the best places in the world to invest in offshore wind projects

“In working with the government, the sector has shown it can deliver ever larger projects at ever lower costs while creating skilled, fulfilling, well-paid jobs”. – Greg Clark (business secretary)

UK Requires Robust New Renewables Policy to Protect Jobs

Green Jobs

Government cuts to incentives and lack of a coherent long-term policy for the renewable industry have caused much stress and anxiety in the industry. Those who supply and install renewables have been put under significant strain after many schemes and incentives where cut or scrapped all together. A new issue has come to light which is that jobs in this sector have now drastically reduced by a third. Between 2014 and 2017 companies began to struggle after many of the cuts were made and it is estimated that 30% of jobs then began to disappear.

This is a devastating blow to the industry. Renewables are the future of energy generation but with the lack of government backing and support it has become less attractive and more expensive for new projects to happen. This means less demand for installers and companies, reducing the amount of jobs. The government has now been urged to find a way to stabilize our greener energy supply and ensure UK workers are not left out in the cold.

One of the schemes that saw a drastic reduction in government money was the Feed in Tariff (FiT). The feed in tariff provided customers of solar panels with a cash reward for installing them to offset the large initial purchase fee. Every month they received money based on their electricity generation. The FiT was scrapped this year and whilst those who had solar panels already installed still receive the payments, any new owners will now not receive any extra money. This has undoubtably slowed down the rate of installations and had a knock-on effect for installers. And its not just solar that’s taken a hit. Other problems have arisen in onshore and offshore wind generation.

The uptake of renewables is now at an all time low, investments have slowed, and reports suggest it hasn’t been this low since 2012. The government has been urged many times to stop sabotaging the industry by cutting funding and altering planning laws which are making some projects more difficult. One of the main issues is with onshore wind. Planning issues mean that it is no longer allowed to bid in government backed auctions. The government has made it harder for these wind farms to be built due to complaints about how they look and how they affect the wildlife. While some of these factors may be true, it is argued that not only is it the cheaper form of energy generation, it also creates many jobs that currently are being missed out on due to the government blocking their production.

Sue ferns (senior deputy secretary at prospect) said:

“Successive governments have promised us a green jobs revolution, but after an initial upsurge we have now started going backwards. This is deeply worrying for the future of the energy sector and for low-carbon jobs in the UK.”

While a spokesperson for BEIS said:

We’ve seen the number of green collar jobs soar to approximately 400,000, with clean growth at the heart of this government’s modern industrial strategy. This figure could more than quadrupled to 2m by 2030. We’ve injected £2.5bn into low-carbon innovation and “the”
deal with the offshore wind industry will see up to £40bn infrastructure investment.”