$3.4bn Scottish offshore wind farm begins powering National Grid
Offshore wind production crossed a significant threshold last week as Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm sent power to the National Grid for the first time.
The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm is worth $3.41bn and is set to have 84 turbines, enough to power 450,000 homes, when the project reaches completion in 2019.
The wind farm is located 8 miles off the coast and sent energy to the UK’s National Grid last week following the successful installation of its first 7MW turbine.
Project director John Hill said in a statement: “We often talk about key milestones along a project’s journey, and Beatrice has quite a few to date, but to see the first turbine turning in the Moray Firth and to have reached first power safely, ahead of programme and on budget is a fantastic achievement for everyone connected to the project.”
Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “This is a very significant step forward and I am delighted to hear that the Beatrice offshore wind farm has generated its first power for the National Grid and has done so ahead of schedule.”
According to CNBC, the Scottish government states that 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource is based in Scotland, with around 58,000 jobs in the country created by low carbon and renewable energy.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.