SHETLAND'S largest wind turbine yet is being erected at Luggie's Knowe, north of Lerwick, by local firm Shetland Aerogenerators.
The company behind the Burradale wind farm whose directors have a stake in the Viking Energy development took over the turbine project from Scottish and Southern Energy.
The tower section of the 3MW Enercon E-82 E4machine was lifted into place by a 750-tonne Liebherr crane transported to Shetland by the turbine's German manufacturer especially for the lift.
Once the blades have been fitted, the tip height of the turbine will be 121 metres, 24 metres shy of the turbines planned for the Viking wind farm.
The nacelle section and blades will be fitted to the tower as weather conditions permit, with commissioning work and grid connection to follow.
Commercial funding for the project was arranged with Lombard Finance.
The power from the turbine will be exported through SSE's Active Network Management system, which was introduced as part of the NINES (Northern Isles New Energy Solutions) project.
NINES is designed to let more renewable sources feed in to the local electricity grid.
Shetland Aerogenerators managing director Angus Ward said: "We originally thought the project could only be built out next year, but thanks mainly to the goodwill of SSE we've been able to bring everything forward.
"The Enercon is a highly sophisticated machine which will continue producing clean electricity even in high wind conditions."
Director David Thomson added that the civil works, including excavations, construction of the access road and pouring of the concrete base, had been very ably carried out by local firm Garriock Bros while Orkney firm Bryan J Rendall is doing the specialist electrical works.
"It's very exciting and satisfying to see the project, which we've been working on for the past year, come to fruition and now we can look forward to the commissioning phase," he said.
(This article was corrected after suggesting the proposed Viking Energy turbines were only 125 metres high, when in fact they are 145m high.)