6th December 2019

The Beatrice offshore wind farm has capped a momentous year by winning a top renewable energy industry award.

The £2.5 billion project off the east coast of Caithness took the Judges’ Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards, held in Edinburgh on Thursday night (5th December) – recognising its excellence in engagement with local communities, innovative installation techniques and world-leading safety standards.

The 588MW development by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) was completed in May this year with the installation of the last of its 84 turbines. It is Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm and the fourth largest in the world, generating enough energy to power 450,000 homes. Three years after construction began, Beatrice was officially opened in July 2019 when Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, visited the operations and maintenance base in restored harbour-front buildings in Wick. About 90 staff are employed there. Beatrice, developed by SSE Renewables (40 per cent), with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35 per cent) and Red Rock Power (25 per cent), was nominated in three categories. The first was for best engagement, for the project team’s work in keeping the community, fisheries and key stakeholders informed from the development stage and throughout construction. The second nomination was for best practice, recognising the team’s excellence in utilising the ALARP Design Procedure to apply the principles and processes of the world-leading safety standards to the life cycle of offshore renewable energy development projects. The third was in the outstanding project category, and was recognition of the economic contribution that the project delivered during construction and the benefits it will bring over its operational lifetime.

Beatrice is the largest single source of renewable energy in Scotland, expected to avoid eight million tonnes of carbon emissions during its operational lifespan and add an estimated £72m of value to the UK economy on average every year, of which £34m will be in Scotland.

Steve Wilson, former project director of Bowl and now project director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms, said: “After more than 10 years of development and construction, the fourth largest offshore wind farm in the world is an outstanding project in its own right.

“We’re incredibly proud to be taking away the prestigious Judges’ Award at this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards. To be nominated among our peers is honour itself so we are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the grand prix. It’s recognition of the excellent work of the team to both deliver and now operate Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.”

More than 1200 guests attended the ceremony in Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Thirteen winners received trophies recognising their work in Scotland’s renewable energy sector, which employs 17,700 people. Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, which organises the awards, said: “Once again, the Scottish Green Energy Awards showcase the truly incredible innovation, drive and passion of those working within our industry.

“The diverse range of projects shortlisted highlights the phenomenal skillset of our industry – one which continues to push the boundaries of innovation, maintaining Scotland’s place as a world leader in renewable energy.

“The commitment, knowledge and hard work of those within the industry is making a significant positive impact on Scotland’s economy as we continue to mitigate carbon emissions and work towards achieving net zero by 2045.

“The Scottish Green Energy Awards is the perfect place to come together to celebrate the achievements of our industry and the inspirational people and organisations within it. My congratulations go to all nominees, and of course the winners.”

The 2019 Scottish Green Energy Awards were headline-sponsored by EDF Renewables.

EDF Renewables’ CEO Matthieu Hue said: “This year’s awards have been the biggest and best we have seen so far and I would like to congratulate all the very worthy winners. It is clear to me that together as an industry we are a force for good, working as hard as we can to decarbonise our sector.

“We focus on building great projects as well as making the most of existing renewables and are always looking at new and better ways to make a difference.”

After officially opening the Beatrice offshore wind farm in the summer, Prince Charles described it as a “remarkable engineering feat”. Invited guests looked on as the royal visitor unveiled a plaque in the operations and maintenance base within restored Thomas Telford buildings on Wick’s Harbour Quay. Prince Charles took a tour around Bowl headquarters and talked with some of the staff about the environmental impact of the turbines. He was assured that marine ecology was said to be thriving around the site.
SSE chairman Richard Gillingwater described Beatrice as “a stellar example of how the skills and ingenuity of business, supported by progressive public policy, can make a vital contribution towards the achievement of net-zero emissions across the UK by 2050”.
Wick Harbour Authority played a key role in attracting Bowl to the port. Harbour authority spokesman Willie Watt, speaking after the official opening, praised the vision of SSE and Bowl in transforming the block of Telford buildings for a new purpose and a new industry. He said a lot of hard work and perseverance had been put in by the harbour board, the harbour master and the office staff. “We gave them the confidence that they could operate the country’s biggest wind farm out of Wick,” he said. Beatrice represents almost twice the investment of the Queensferry Crossing on the Firth of Forth.

The successful organisations and individuals were selected by a panel of 12 judges from a shortlist of 44.

Full list of winners:

  • Young and Inspiring Award, sponsored by WSP: Ethan Glencross, Renewable Parts
  • Best Practice Award, sponsored by Natural Power: Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks for biodiversity net gain approach and site optioneering toolkit
  • Best Engagement Award, sponsored by Xodus Group: Fife Council for Glenrothes Energy Network
  • Best Innovation Award, sponsored by Red Rock Power Ltd: Pict Offshore for the Get up Safe system
  • Contribution to Skills Award, sponsored by Scottish Government (Scottish National Investment Bank): ESP for Wind and Marine Training Network
  • Sustainable Development Award, sponsored by ABB: Aberdeen City Council for hydrogen strategy
  • Champion of Renewables Award, sponsored by National Grid ESO: Dave Pearson, Star Renewable Energy
  • Best Community Project Award, sponsored by SSE Renewables: Canna Renewable Energy and Electrification Limited for the CREE Project, Isle of Canna
  • Carbon Reduction Award, sponsored by SmartestEnergy: Balfour Beatty, Dundee City Council and ESB for Caird Park Low Carbon District Energy Hub
  • Outstanding Service Award, sponsored by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group: Green Marine
  • Outstanding Project Award, sponsored by Innogy Renewables UK Ltd: SP Energy Networks for Green Economy Fund
  • Judges’ Award: Beatrice offshore wind farm
  • Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise: Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s minister for energy, connectivity and the islands

Source: The John O Groat Journal and Caithness Courier.


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