Work has begun on erecting a 121-metre wind turbine on the former SSE site at Luggie’s Knowe for Shetland Aerogenerators.
A 750-tonne crane with a reach of 85 metre was to lift the tower section of the 3MW German-manufactured Enercon machine. The crane was transported to Shetland by the turbine manufacturer specially for the lift.
The turbine will have a tip height of 121 metres once erected, and will be Shetland’s largest. However, it is slightly smaller than the 3.6MW turbine Viking Energy has planning approval for.
The nacelle section and blades are expected to be lifted and attached to the tower as weather conditions permit. Commissioning work and grid connection will follow.
Shetland Aerogenerators, which owns and operates the Burradale Wind Farm, took over the development, to the north of Lerwick, from SSE.
The power from the turbine will be exported through SSE’s Active Network Management system. It was introduced as part of the Nines (Northern Isles New Energy Solutions) project – designed to let more renewable sources feed into the local electricity grid.
Shetland Aerogenerators managing director Angus Ward said: “We originally thought the project could only be built out next year but thanks mainly to the goodwill of SSE we’ve been able to bring everything forward.
“The Enercon is a highly sophisticated machine which will continue producing clean electricity even in high wind conditions.”
Director David Thomson added that the civil works, including excavations, construction of the access road and pouring of the concrete base, had been ably carried out by Garriock Bros while Orkney firm Bryan J Rendall is doing the specialist electrical works.
He said: “It’s very exciting and satisfying to see the project, which we’ve been working on for the past year, come to fruition and now we can look forward to the commissioning phase.”