These cold air masses from the Arctic Sea cross the North Atlantic and head into the North Sea, bordering the northern Scottish coast. When captured by giant wind turbines off the coast, this cold air can be converted into electricity for domestic use and beyond.
Offshore wind farms, built on the surface of the water, are more efficient that those built on land because wind speeds off the coast are stronger and more stable. This enables a greater quantity of energy to be generated compared to onshore wind farms.
Scotland has been leading offshore wind developments, contributing to positioning the United Kingdom as the world’s largest offshore wind market.
A number of projects are currently being developed off the Scottish coast, including EDF Renewables’ Neart Na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm, located in an area of approximately 105 square kilometres, 15 km off the East coast.
With 54 wind turbines, the project has the potential to generate 450MW of renewable energy. When fully operational, it will generate enough electricity to power over 375,000 households.
Saipem – which has a proven track record in building offshore wind farms – has been appointed to design, build and install the jacket foundations at NnG. In the past, it has already taken part in other important offshore wind farm projects such as Hornsea One completed for Ørsted in 2018 off the coast of Yorkshire in England and Hywind Scotland completed for Equinor in 2017 and considered the largest operating floating wind farm in the world.
For Neart Na Gaoithe, Saipem will be responsible for the engineering design, construction and installation of 54 steel jackets foundations supporting the 8MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines and of 2 steel foundation jackets for the offshore substations.
The jacket manufacturing will be carried out partly in Scottish yards, entrusted to local workers in the area, and partly in the Saipem-owned Karimun yard.
Saipem 7000, one of the world’s largest lifting vessels and equipped with two cranes of 7000 tons each, will be used to carry out the offshore installation steel foundations and piles supporting the turbines.
In 2020 Saipem will also be involved in another offshore wind farm located off Taiwan, building 32 jacket foundations for the Formosa II project developed by a partnership between Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Swancor Renewable Energy.
The NnG and Formosa II projects are worth a total of about 750 million euros and are a key step for Saipem in the achievement of an active role in the energy transition and renewable market and contribute to an increasing independence of our backlog from the vagaries oil market.
According to the International Energy Agency, offshore wind energy will grow exponentially over the next two decades with floating wind solutions unlocking this tremendous market potential. Only a few companies in the world have the means and expertise to meet the growing demand for offshore wind farm development. Thanks to its engineering and project management skills and its vessels, Saipem will be able to make its contribution to these new energy frontiers.
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