Wednesday 17 April 2024
 7.2°C   NNE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Energy / Most Viking turbines now checked and ready

A view of the Viking wind farm from the Vidlin junction. Photo: Shetland News

AROUND 85 per cent of the Viking Energy wind farm turbines have been fully commissioned and are ready for use.

A meeting of the Viking Energy community liaison group was given the update on Tuesday, with the site expected to be handed over for operations in September.

Gerry Hamill, who has been involved with civil work on site for developer SSE Renewables, said cabling at the wind farm is complete and energised.

Work now involves reinstatement and snagging, as well as commissioning the final turbines.

A total of 88 of the 103 turbines have now been fully commissioned.

However he said the weather has presented some challenging conditions over the last few years, including snow – with the recent weather causing disruption.

The meeting also heard that there are hopes to introduce a permanent solution to problems at an excavation pit near the Burn of Lunklet which has caused issues with water quality, with options currently being assessed.

Meanwhile around half of the 275 new overhead power line pole structures currently being installed between Lerwick and Kergord are now up.

The 132kV lines will enable Shetland to be connected to the national grid once the subsea transmission link to Caithness goes live, with underground cabling also part of the project.

Work on the 600MW HVDC link has progressed well, with final checks taking place. It is due to be handed over to the National Grid on 1 July, the meeting also heard.

However the recent wintry weather has “significantly impacted” the use of a helicopter to bring parts by air for the Lerwick-Kergord power project.

Senior project manager Kevin McLean said more than 6km of access tracks have been installed across the project to date.

Impact on landscape will be minimal, SSEN assures community as major engineering works stop for Christmas

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

The 132kV cables which will be used for the project have now been manufactured in China, with the first due to arrive in Shetland later this week.

Meanwhile staff numbers across the wind farm and HVDC projects have dropped from a peak of around 500 during construction to roughly 140.

The meeting heard that more than £76 million has gone into the local economy, with just under £1 million awarded through the Viking Energy community benefit fund to date in the advance grant scheme.

SSE Renewables stakeholder engagement manager for onshore wind Corrina Scholes added that there have been talks with local schools about the prospect of naming some Viking turbines.

There has also been an agreement reached with Ability Shetland that will see an all-terrain wheelchair at the site for use around the tracks once the wind farm is operational.

Recruitment is underway for SSE Renewables’ operations team once the wind farm is live, with an electrical engineer in post this week.

There will also be roles such as site supervisor and environmental advisor.

Meanwhile the new road built from near the Halfway House into Kergord for wind farm construction traffic is expected to be handed over to the council for public use later on in the summer.

It will be brought up to public standard, with a car park also set to be installed there. Plans will be submitted in due course for another public car park at the wind farm’s north compound, south of Voe, for recreational use.

The issue of the financial bond which was recently agreed for the Viking Energy wind farm – which should have been in place three and a half years ago – was also raised.

The £40 million bond is a safety guarantee for the planning authority that sufficient funds are in place should owner SSE Renewables not be able to comply with its legal obligation to decommission and restore the wind farm site in Shetland’s central mainland.

Tuesday’s meeting heard that the bond will be reviewed at regular intervals, possibly every five years.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.