Neart na Gaoithe O&M base officially opened

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 25/01/2023 Neart na Gaoithe

The development of the
Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm has achieved a milestone today (Wednesday 25 January 2023) with the opening of its Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base in Eyemouth, Berwickshire. The official opening ceremony was conducted by Michael Matheson, Net Zero & Energy Secretary.

The NnG O&M base includes a 1,040 square metre, three storey operations and maintenance building, alongside a 538 square metre storage warehouse. The base houses a high-tech control room with staff from NNG and its subcontractor Siemens Gamesa from which the operation of the 450 MW wind farm will be monitored when it is commissioned in 2024. It will monitor its electricity output, wind speed, turbine performance and all radio communications.

The control room team will also monitor and control the movement of wind farm vessels into and out of Eyemouth Harbour and the site of the wind farm itself, which is located 15.5 kilometres off the coast of Fife.

The building also houses staff welfare facilities, collaborative workspaces, changing rooms, drying rooms, locker rooms and briefing areas for the team of technicians based there, with training, retraining and apprenticeship opportunities available to the residents of Eyemouth and the surrounding area. According to the NNG team, the O&M base will bring up to 50 jobs to Eyemouth Harbour for the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm.

It is also large enough to handle the increase in staffing levels in the summer months when wind farm maintenance will increase due to calmer weather and lower wind speeds.

The O&M base was designed to fit in with its surroundings at Eyemouth Harbour by Corstorphine + Wright architects and built by Fife-based Muir Construction. The land on which it is located is leased from Eyemouth Harbour Trust with the revenues from the lease supporting further investment by the Trust in the harbour itself, which is a working fishing port.

Alongside the O&M base, a berthing pontoon has been designed, constructed and installed in the harbour basin on the marine side of the harbour by Moray-based Inland and Coastal Marina Systems.

The 450 MW NnG wind farm is 15km off the coast of Fife and is owned by EDF Renewables and ESB. The offshore wind farm will be equipped with 54 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD turbines with a tip height of 208m. They will be mounted on foundations laid at a water depth of up to 55m.

Once fully operational, it is expected to generate electricity for around 375,000 homes, or all domestic properties in a city the size of Edinburgh, and to displace 400,000 tons of CO2 annually. LCCC awarded it a CfD in February 2015, with a strike price of £114.39/MWh. The first turbines are scheduled to be operational in time for the wind farm to begin generating power in 2023, with completion scheduled for 2024.