Key role for Cromarty Firth for offshore windfarmProjects and Operations // July 14, 2014
The Port of Cromarty Firth says its deepwater engineering port facility at Invergordon Service Base has been chosen to fulfil the next phase of one of the world’s largest offshore windfarms.
On 9 July the Chinese heavy lift vessel Xia Zhi Yuan 6 arrived in to port from Cartagena, Spain, carrying the first concrete gravity base caissons for use in the Moray offshore windfarm and the Inch Cape windfarm.
The Port of Cromarty Firth has been selected as the closest port to the windfarms that is capable of providing both a sheltered, deepwater berth and onshore supply chain service necessary to see the project through to completion.
The caissons are to be used in the construction of Met masts (offshore weather stations), one at Moray windfarm and one at Inch Cape.
Each caisson will be fitted with a large steel monopile (used to anchor the caisson to the seabed) and a 90m tall steel a lattice tower, on to which meteorological equipment will be installed.
The offshore weather monitoring stations will start providing essential data, which will inform key technical and engineering decisions for the wind farm. The weather stations will measure wind speed and direction in the area as well as temperature and air pressure.
The Port of Cromarty Firth recently embarked on a £25 million expansion project, which will see it reclaim 9 acres from the sea and add a further deepwater berth to its existing port capabilities.
The expansion will be completed by summer 2015 and it is hoped that the Port will benefit from its proximity to the Moray Firth offshore windfarms.