Research into a £2.6 billion offshore windfarm in Moray estimates it will bring £530 million to the Scottish economy.

The analysis saw SSE and Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl), carry out an assessment of the scheme which will result in 84 turbines being installed in the Outer Moray Forth

The project was given consent in March 2014 followed by an investment contract by the UK government in May of the same year.

Research on the social return on the investment (SROI) said the £2.6bn investment is expected to add £1.13bn to UK GDP and support full-time employment in the UK.

Paul Cooley, SSE head of generation development, said: "As a UK-based energy company we strongly believe that our investment in much-needed energy infrastructure can benefit the wider society.

"The findings of the report show that our spending on the project will not just benefit the wider UK supply chain, but also the Scottish supply chain and the local communities near the wind farm.

"This research offered SSE their first chance to understand the social return on investment of the community fund, and we were thrilled to see that the fund should help create more value for the community."

The foundations are being put into place for the project, which will be fully operational in 2019

SSE says the farm's 84 wind turbine being assembled at Nigg Energy Park will be able to generate enough energy to power up to 450,000 homes.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: "On a national scale, the Beatrice project is set to inject £530 million into the Scottish economy, as well as providing clean energy to thousands of homes.

"The significant benefits to the Highland and Moray regions will be felt for a long time to come, as those areas are set to benefit from over £6 million in community projects, as well as the creation of over 800 jobs during the construction phase, including assembly work at Nigg Energy Park, and around 90 long-term jobs during the operations and maintenance phase, which will produce a particular boost to employment at Wick harbour."