Windfarm base plans unveiled at museum

Oscar Diazof Moray East with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Julian Brown from MHI Vestas and Michael Murray
Oscar Diazof Moray East with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Julian Brown from MHI Vestas and Michael Murray

Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Ltd has announced proposals for the construction of its windfarm’s operations and maintenance base at Fraserburgh Harbour.

‘Moray East’ is a 950MW offshore wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth, 40km from the north east coast.

A briefing about the new facility, which will be the principal onshore base for the operation and maintenance of the windfarm was provided to Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP on Friday, October 26 at The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh.

Fraserburgh Harbour will host the construction of a new two-storey facility on the quayside, and the harbour will become the principle port for the vessels, permanently located in the Moray Firth, which will undertake operations and maintenance work throughout the lifetime of the windfarm.

Moray East has signed an options agreement with Fraserburgh Harbour to secure the necessary land on which to construct the quayside O&M buildings and facilities.

MHI Vestas will supply and install 100 V164-9.5MW offshore wind turbine generators, and undertake maintenance activities.

Oscar Diaz, Project Director for Moray East said: “Moray East is a major new generation project, providing low cost, low carbon power to meet the needs of 40 per cent of Scotland’s households, and Fraserburgh Harbour will become the key onshore hub for that facility.

“Fraserburgh Harbour’s Commissioners brought together key local stakeholders in their bid for the O&M work, and I am pleased to announce the establishment of ‘FLAME’ – the Fraserburgh Local Alliance with Moray East – which draws together the Harbour, Aberdeenshire Council, North East Scotland College at Fraserburgh along with Moray East and MHI Vestas - with the aim of maximising the local opportunities which Moray East will create.

“We look forward to working with the local community to deliver low carbon power at a record low price, while creating a significant new long term high-value, high-skill industrial opportunity”

Michael Murray, Harbour Convener said: “Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners welcome the formation of the working group along with other strategic partners. We look forward to collaborative working to investigate the economic benefit the project will afford to Fraserburgh and the wider area both in creating year round local jobs and the opportunities available to the local supply chain.

“Offshore wind offers clean energy as well as economic and environmental benefits that align with Fraserburgh Harbours vision for the future. Fraserburgh Harbour is steeped in maritime tradition and innovation, with this project our region has the opportunity to be a leader in this sector.”

Julian Brown, MHI Vestas UK Country Manager said: “One of offshore wind’s most enduring qualities is its benefit to local communities – industrial investments, long-term, clean energy jobs, and direct economic impact.

“As the principle operation and maintenance base for Moray East, Fraserburgh Harbour stands ready to deliver on this promise. We look forward to our collaboration with Moray East, the Aberdeenshire Council and North East Scotland College to bring the facility to life in service to this landmark offshore wind project.”

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Jim Gifford, added: “The decision to base these operations in Aberdeenshire is significant and one which will bring ongoing benefit to an area we have been working hard to regenerate.

“The efforts of Fraserburgh Harbour to secure this contract should also be recognised - they have put in a lot of work to get to this point and the positive effects of that work will be felt well into the future.

“The establishment of a group of local stakeholders, including the council, is also important in terms of maximising the number and quality of opportunities generated locally and we look forward to progressing that.

“We are happy and proud to have been involved in this project from its early stages, demonstrating our support for renewable energy as part of a long term aim to diversify the north east economy and support businesses in the area to that end.”