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SSE Renewables’ Viking Wind Farm adds power to Tall Ships Lerwick

27 Jul 2022

‘The Swan’ which is registered in Lerwick, pictured at a recent Tall Ship Races 2023 event in Harlingen in The Netherlands.

Shetland Tall Ships Ltd has announced that SSE Renewables is a Host Port sponsor of Tall Ships Lerwick 2023.

The move strengthens the company’s community links in Shetland as it continues to develop the Viking Energy Wind Farm. When completed the project will be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm^, harnessing Shetland’s excellent wind resource to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 475,000 homes*.

The Tall Ships fleet which will sail into Lerwick next summer will make use of that same renewable wind resource. Shetland Tall Ships Ltd project manager Emma Miller believes the collaboration between the two organisations is fitting and is delighted with SSE Renewables’ support.

She said: “SSE Renewables and Viking Energy will use Shetland’s exceptional wind power to generate an incredible amount of clean energy once the wind farm is operational. It seems fitting that the Tall Ships event is sponsored by a company that, like the incredible ships that will visit Lerwick next year, will make such effective use of the wind resource.

“There is a growing sense of excitement in Shetland and further afield as the Countdown to Lerwick 2023 begins in earnest. Today’s announcement adds to that anticipation and SSE Renewables’ support will be invaluable as we drive ahead with our planning. This news really does put wind in our sails.”

SSE Renewables’ Viking Energy Wind Farm project is powering a green economic recovery in Shetland, with the company investing circa £580m in the ambitious scheme.

Construction is well under way supporting Shetland, Scotland, and wider UK supply chains. At peak construction a combined Viking Energy and SSE Networks – Transmission workforce of over 500 will be employed in Shetland building the wind farm and the related Shetland HVDC transmission link.

SSE Renewables welcomed the opportunity to support the high-profile event which promises to be a celebration of sailing, friendship and community and includes sponsorship of the main stage at the Tall Ships’ event site.

Viking Energy’s Community Engagement Manager, Julie Graham, said: “SSE Renewables and Viking Energy Wind Farm are proud to be a Host Port sponsor of Tall Ships Lerwick 2023. It is great to be part of such an amazing event that will bring people from all over the isles together along with visitors and crews from many different countries. We look forward to playing an important role in making this event a huge success in a year’s time.

“With both tall ships and wind turbines using the wind to power their blades and sails, there is a natural synergy between what we are building here in Shetland and the amazing vessels that will be taking part in the Tall Ships race.”

^ Most productive UK onshore wind farm claim based on projected total generation output by Viking Wind Farm of 1,796.35 GWh per annum and a comparison with the leading UK operational and in construction wind farms. 

*475,099 homes powered per annum based on annual GB average domestic household consumption base of 3.781MWh published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as of November 2018, and projected total generation output by Viking Wind Farm of 1,796.35 GWh per annum.

SSE Renewables Community Engagement Manager for the Viking Wind Farm Project, Julie Graham (left) and Shetland Tall Ships Project Manager, Emma Miller joined together to announce the wind farm developer’s sponsorship of the Lerwick stage of the world-renowned Tall Ships Races 2023.

About The Tall Ships Races

The Tall Ships Races is Europe’s largest free, family festival, held every summer in European waters, offering an exciting racecourse for a magnificent fleet of participating vessels, crewed by thousands of young people. This prestigious event showcases Sail Training International’s values of fostering international friendships and providing life changing experiences for young people.

Lerwick has been appointed as a host port for the 2023 races and will host the fleet between 26th and 29th July following a Cruise in Company leg where ships will have the opportunity to visit a number of guest harbours on the route from the host port of Fredrikstad in Norway. Other host ports in 2023 are Den Helder in the Netherlands, Hartlepool in England and Arendal in Norway. This will be the third time Lerwick has hosted the fleet, with previous visits in 1999 and 2011.

The event is supported by grant funding from Shetland Islands Council and EventScotland, in addition to sponsorship from local companies. Lerwick Port Authority and Sail Training Shetland provide significant in-kind support for berthing, event sites and the recruitment of young trainees.