Two Scotland-based companies have been awarded £17m (€20m) worth in contracts to fabricate, install and operate two meteorological masts that will monitor weather conditions within the 7.2GW East Anglia offshore wind development zone.
The contract announcement was made today by the two developers of the UK Round 3 East Anglia zone, ScottishPower Renewables (owned by Iberdrola) and Swedish energy firm Vattenfall.
Aberdeen-based Wood Group has been awarded the primary contract. Long known as an oil and gas services company, Wood Group has recently moved into renewables. It will be supported by subcontractor, Steel Engineering, which will fabricate the met mast monopile foundations at its new steel rolling facility in Renfrewshire.
Fabrication of the met mast foundations will begin in November, with installation planned for next summer.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have emphasised that much of the investment in the East Anglia offshore wind zone is going to UK firms and creating UK jobs. The two companies report awarding contracts with a combined value of £50m to UK companies so far. The East Anglia zone is still at an early stage of development.
Installation of met masts is an essential early step in the development of offshore wind projects, with the data they collect informing the precise siting and design of resulting wind farm(s). According to the two developers, "the £17 million weather stations will be among the most technically advanced in the UK and will measure wind speed and direction in the area as well as temperature and air pressure".
One of the met masts will be located in the north of the development zone, with the other in the south. The zone has an area larger than the English county of Norfolk and lies off the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts.
Commenting on the progress being made to develop the East Anglia zone, Vattenfall’s senior vice president and head of business division renewables, Anders Dahl, said: "With a planning application due to be submitted in November this year, coupled with imminent monitoring of weather conditions offshore, the East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm is going from strength to strength."