A WIND farm in Shetland that will power 475,000 homes has reached a new milestone.

The Viking Energy Wind Farm on mainland Shetland has prepared the first of 103 wind turbine bases ahead of the arrival of turbine towers in 2023.

This involved pouring concrete on the wind turbine base, supplied by eight ready-mix lorries. Once the concrete has dried, the turbine tower will be bolted on.

“This is literally a concrete landmark for the Viking project,” said stakeholder manager for the Viking Project, Aaron Priest. Teams from Glasgow-based civil engineering and building contractor RJ McLeod and Shetland contractors worked on the logistics.

Lerwick-based civil engineer and builder Garriock Bros supplied the ready-mix lorries and aggregates from its Shetland quarry at Vatster. Once complete, the wind farm is expected to provide around 440 megawatts of power and save 500 million tonnes a year in carbon emissions.

“We have come so far in a relatively short time – one which included the challenges of the pandemic and unusually prolonged winter weather in Shetland,” said Derek Hastings, head of onshore wind farm development at SSE Renewables, the renewable energy subsidiary of Perth-based energy company, SSE.

The Viking Wind Farm was developed as a joint venture between SSE Renewables and the Shetland community. Since 2019, the project has been wholly owned by SSE, with the community retaining an interest on the management board.

The turbine towers will be supplied by Danish company Vestas.