The Moray West project is an 860MW offshore wind farm planned to be developed in the Outer Moray Firth, offshore Scotland, UK. It is the second offshore wind project in the Outer Moray Firth, after Moray East.

The project is being developed by Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) and is owned by Ocean Winds and Ignitis Group. Ocean Winds is a 50-50 joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE. Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) will also be responsible for the construction and operation of the wind farm.

The Moray West offshore wind project received all the required consents, including approval for the construction of the wind farm and marine export cable, in 2019.

Expected to become fully operational in 2024/25, the wind power facility will have an operational life of more than 25 years.

The Moray West offshore wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power up to 640,000 homes, at full capacity. It is expected to account for 30% of Scotland's electricity and will be able to offset 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Location and site details

The Moray West offshore wind farm will be located on the Smith Bank in the outer Moray Firth, approximately 22.5km southeast of the Caithness coastline, Scotland, UK.

The wind farm will occupy a total area of approximately 225km2 and the water depth at the site is 35-54m.

Moray West offshore wind farm details

The Moray West offshore wind farm development will include the installation of 60 wind turbines, seabed foundations and substructures, inter-array cables, two offshore substation platforms, interconnector cables, and offshore export cables.

The project will feature Siemens Gamesa’s SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines, with each of 14.7MW capacity and a rotor diameter of 222m. The SG 14-222 DD turbine model is designed to have a swept area of 39,000m².

A total of 180 Siemens Gamesa B108 IntegralBlades, which will be 108m long each, will be used for the wind farm. Around 275km of inter-array cables will be laid connecting the turbines.

The power generated by the wind farm will be transmitted to the shore through the installation of an offshore export cable corridor, which will cover an area of approximately 185km2.

Moray West transmission infrastructure

The Moray West transmission infrastructure will include an underground export cable corridor with a total length of approximately 91km, with a 65km-long offshore section and 31km onshore.

The landfall area for the offshore export cable circuits will be located on the Aberdeenshire Coast, approximately 65km south of the project site.

A new onshore substation at Whitehillock near Keith in Moray will be constructed as part of the onshore transmission infrastructure.

The Whitehillock substation will be connected to the Blackhillock substation outside Keith, through the installation of underground cables.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Moray West offshore wind farm will be evacuated into the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) through a 400kV existing substation at Blackhillock.

Contractors involved

Siemens Gamesa was contracted to supply offshore wind turbines for the Moray West offshore wind power project in June 2022. The contract also included a service agreement.

Cadeler was subcontracted by Siemens Gamesa for the transportation and installation of the wind turbines for the project. The company planned to utilise its windfarm installation vessel (WIV) Wind Orca to execute the contract.

Smulders, the Belgian subsidiary of Eiffage Métal, was subcontracted by Siemens Energy to manufacture two electrical substations for the offshore wind farm.

Nexans was awarded by Ocean Winds to design, manufacture, install and protect the subsea and onshore export cable system for the Moray West project in December 2021.

Bureau Veritas was engaged to carry out project certification, comprising design review, manufacturing surveillance, transport and installation surveillance, and commissioning surveillance in June 2021.

GoBe Consultants was contracted by Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) as the lead environmental impact assessment (EIA) consultant for the project. The scope of the contract included the development and implementation of a consent strategy, scoping of the offshore wind farm and offshore export cable corridor, and site selection for an onshore substation, among others.

Taylor Hopkinson was contracted by Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) to provide freelance personnel for the project.

Ocean Winds signed a capacity reservation agreement with Lamprell to book space in the Hamriyah yard for the work related to the project in March 2022. The scope of the contract covered the delivery of 62 transition pieces, consisting of 60 wind turbine generator transition pieces and two transition pieces for the offshore substations. The work also included the shipping of  transition pieces to a marshalling harbour in the UK.

MTE was subcontracted by Barrier Architectural Services for the design, engineering, fabrication and delivery of 8 No. modular buildings for the offshore wind project.