finance

Scottish offshore wind farm takes purposefully slow step forward


Construction of the onshore works to support the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm took a purposefully slow step forward this weekend with the delivery of a massive shunt reactor to the site of it’s connection to the National Grid in the Lammermuir Hills.

A second shunt reactor is due for delivery next weekend.

The 160-tonne shunt reactor – 10 metres long, three metres wide and five metres high – provides voltage control and compensates for the length of the onshore and offshore cables that will deliver up to 450 megawatts of electricity from the NnG wind farm in the outer Forth Estuary to its substation at the existing Crystal Rig onshore wind farm.

The substation is planned for completion next year and is a vital component in the wind farm, which is being developed by EDF Renewables and ESB.

The reactor was transported, under police escort, to the NnG onshore substation near Innerwick, East Lothian, from the Port of Leith, on a special 67m long trailer overnight Friday into Saturday.

It was then transferred onto a 45m long trailer capable of negotiating the narrower road up to Crystal Rig.



The reactor and its escort convoy
Abnormal Load going to Crystal Rig Pic Peter Devlin

Project director Matt Haag said: “The shunt reactor is vital to enable NnG’s safe connection to the National Grid – we’re grateful to all our neighbours in Innerwick and the surrounding area for their patience as we ensured its safe passage to the substation.”

With up to £1.8bn invested in its infrastructure, the NnG wind farm should have a major impact on the Scottish economy.

Located 15.5 km off the Fife coast, it will cover an area of approximately 105 km2.

EDF Renewables acquired NnG in 2018 and in 2019 sold a 50% stake to leading Irish energy company ESB.

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