HISTORICAL maritime buildings in the harbour of Wick in Caithness, Scotland, will be brought back into operation when renovated to act as the hub for one of the largest new offshore wind farms in the UK.
Work is well underway to build the £2.6 billion, 84 turbine offshore wind farm in the outer Moray Firth. Designed by world famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford in 1807, the conservation of the onshore maritime buildings will play a key part in generating 588MW of sustainable energy from the wind farm to go into the grid.
Leading independent management, design and construction consultancy Pick Everard, based in Inverness and Glasgow, is part of the team who will be delivering the onshore aspects of the project alongside HRI/Munro Architects.
Pick Everard is delivering mechanical and engineering services for the £10 million land base which will service the windfarm commissioned by BOWL (Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd). Once complete, the wind farm will power approximately 450,000 homes (around three times the number of homes in the Moray and Highland regions).
Doug Soutar, director at Pick Everard, said: “This is such an exciting project to work on and one that is key in helping us to continue to deliver sustainable energy for the future.
“The onshore element of the project comprises the conservation, re-planning and part reconstruction of two blocks of the historic Old Pulteneytown area of Wick.
“These buildings are more than 200 years old and have a longstanding history of being used for maritime purposes. We are pleased to be helping to bring them back into service again following planning permission from the Highland Council.”
Wick has provided a safe haven for fishing, commercial, and leisure vessels for the last 150 years or so with the harbour consisting of three basins. The Inner and Outer Harbours are the main fishing and leisure berths, and the River Harbour is the commercial area.
Steve Wilson, senior project manager for SSE, said: “Renovation of the iconic Thomas Telford buildings in Wick is well underway and has been progressing well. These buildings will become our long term Operations and Maintenance base for Beatrice Windfarm.
“These Thomas Telford buildings are a symbol of Wick’s industrial and marine past so we are really pleased to be utilising them and in doing so help continue that legacy. We’ve been very pleased with the support there has been in the area.”
The Beatrice wind farm will be operational in 2019. It is one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure, bringing economic and community benefits to the area. Beatrice will also create opportunities with job creations across the region, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.