SSE RENEWABLES, the owner and developer of the Shetland-based Viking Wind Farm has named Vestas as supplier of the turbines.

The deal means Viking will be Danish firm Vestas’ largest stand-alone onshore wind farm order in Europe to date. The Vestas turbine contract award follows the decision in June by Perth-based SSE Renewables to invest £580 million in the new onshore wind farm.

Vestas aims to create an islands-based service organisation providing “high quality employment opportunities”.

The Viking Wind Farm will produce enough energy to power almost half a million homes annually. It will be “the UK’s largest and most productive onshore wind farm” in terms of annual electricity output, and it is claimed it will play a crucial role in contributing towards the UK and Scotland’s net zero targets.

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The choice of turbine “plays a critical role in maximising the amount of renewable energy that Viking will be capable of generating” and Vestas will provide Viking with a turbine model known for its ability to withstand extreme wind conditions.

SSE Renewables said is committed to maximising the opportunities for the UK, Scottish and Shetland supply chain and will be working closely with the turbine supplier to promote local employment.

Once operational in 2024, Viking Wind Farm is expected to support up to 35 “highly skilled, full-time local jobs overall across a range of disciplines in the operation and maintenance of the wind farm”.

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Paul Cooley, of SSE Renewables which is a renewable energy subsidiary of Scottish Hydroelectric owner SSE, said: “This contract represents another significant milestone for our Viking project.”

Nils de Baar, of Vestas, said the project “sends a strong signal for economic growth and green recovery in Shetland”.

Construction will start this month and it is expected to support around 400 jobs at peak, with many of those expected to be filled by the local workforce in Shetland.

SSE also flagged investments in Shetland Island Link and Seagreen offshore wind farm, adding “together these projects will deliver over 1,000 jobs in construction and more during operation”.