Final turbine installed at Viking Wind Farm in Shetland

Final turbine installed at SSE Renewables' Viking Wind Farm

SSE Renewables has installed the final turbine at the Viking Wind Farm in Shetland.

Three years after breaking ground on the project, all 103 turbines are now in place at the site which is set to be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm when complete. 

Turbine installation at the 443MW site began in February with the final turbine installed last week - ahead of schedule. 

The project remains on track for completion in summer 2024, with commissioning works set to continue over the next year.  

When fully operational, Viking’s 103 Vestas turbines will operate in 4.3MW power mode and comprise 443MW of installed wind-powered capacity, capable of generating up to 1.8TWh of renewable electricity annually – enough to power almost half a million typical British homes, including every home in Shetland. 

This means Viking Wind Farm will be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output when complete.

Installation of the final wind turbine is yet another milestone reached in the Viking Wind Farm project. It follows on from the completion of the turbine component delivery campaign which saw more than 280 convoys deliver over 1,000 turbine components to the remote site over a six-month period.

Reaching this milestone has seen the project battle some very challenging weather conditions, from frequent heavy rain and the biggest snowstorm to hit Shetland in more than 20 years, to rolling fog which drastically reduced visibility across the site.

However, the biggest challenge is the wind, with speeds often reaching over 78mph.

SSE Renewables’ onshore renewables development and construction director, Heather Donald, said: “We’re reaching the point in the Viking Wind Farm project where we are celebrating key milestones which just shows the good progress we are making. 

“The weather in Shetland has been challenging at times so achieving the installation of the final turbine ahead of schedule is testament to the hard work and commitment of those involved.

“Reaching this landmark milestone underlines our strategy to lead the transition to a net zero future through the world-class development, construction and operation of renewable power assets. 

“Viking will be capable of producing enough energy to power the equivalent of almost half a million homes including every home in Shetland and is on course for completion in 2024.”

The Viking project has been supported by Shetland contractors and suppliers who have worked hand in hand with the SSE Renewables, principal contractor RJ Macleod and Vestas teams. 

The project is supporting the islands’, Scottish and wider UK supply chains during delivery, creating around 400 jobs at peak construction. 

Additionally, turbine supplier Vestas is now also awarding contracts and recruiting long-term local operations and maintenance teams, including apprentices.

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