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Vestas for Viking as turbine contract confirmed

19 Aug 2020

The Vestas V117-4.2 MW turbine will harness the excellent wind conditions at Viking in central Mainland Shetland to produce enough renewable energy to power almost half a million homes annually at what will be the UK’s largest and most productive onshore wind farm.

19 August 2020: Viking Wind Farm has today confirmed Vestas as supplier of the 103 turbines for the 443MW remote island project. The deal means Viking in the Shetland Islands will be Vestas’ largest stand-alone onshore wind farm order in Europe to date.

As part of the contract Vestas will enter into a long-term agreement to service the wind farm when operational, with the ambition to establish a Shetland-based service organisation providing high quality employment opportunities supported by an apprentice programme.

The Vestas turbine contract award follows the decision in June by project owner and developer SSE Renewables to invest £580 million in the new onshore wind farm in support of its strategy to drive the transition to a zero-carbon future and as part of its commitment to drive forward the UK and Scotland’s green economic recovery from coronavirus.

Viking Wind Farm will harness the excellent wind conditions in central Mainland Shetland to produce almost 2TWh of energy each year – enough to power almost half a million homes annually and reduce carbon emissions by half a million tonnes each year. When complete, Viking will be the UK’s largest and most productive onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output, playing a crucial role in contributing towards the UK and Scotland’s net zero targets.

The choice of turbine plays a critical role in maximising the amount of renewable energy that Viking will be capable of generating. Under the turbine order Vestas will provide Viking with its V117-4.2 MW turbine in 4.3 MW Power Optimised Mode, a turbine model known for its ability to withstand extreme wind conditions. The order includes supply, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, and will also feature a VestasOnline® Business SCADA solution that will lower turbine downtime and thereby optimise energy output. This overall Vestas turbine solution provides an exceptional fit and will maximise energy output from the strong winds at Viking’s North Atlantic site.

Turbine deliveries and commissioning will begin in the first quarter of 2023 ahead of expected wind farm completion in 2024. SSE Renewables is committed to maximising the opportunities for the UK, Scottish and Shetland supply chain through the development of Viking wind farm and will be working closely with the turbine supplier to promote local employment opportunities.

Once installed and operational, Viking Wind Farm is expected to support up to 35 highly skilled, full-time local jobs overall across a range of disciplines in the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.

Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables, said:

“This contract represents another significant milestone for our Viking project. We are delighted to be working with Vestas again with whom who we have a significant track record of project delivery. The optimised V117-4.2MW machines provide the durability and performance that we require to ensure that Viking delivers to its full potential. Viking will be the largest onshore wind farm in the UK by output and will bring significant economic opportunities to Shetland and beyond including the ambition by Vestas to establish a Shetland-based service team providing high quality employment and apprentice opportunities.”

Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern & Central Europe, said:

“We are pleased to continue our cooperation with SSE Renewables, an excellent partnership that dates back 20 years. The Viking project creates a highly competitive business case for our customer and sends a strong signal for economic growth and green recovery in Shetland, the UK and beyond. It is an honour for us to contribute to the success of this landmark wind project.”

Construction of Viking will commence this month and over the four-year construction timeline is expected to support around 400 jobs at peak, with many of those expected to be filled by the local workforce in Shetland.

In addition to Viking, the SSE Group has confirmed investments in Scotland worth billions of pounds in the Shetland Island Link and the Seagreen offshore wind farm. Together these projects will deliver over 1000 jobs in construction and hundreds more during operation.