Scotland’s Wick harbour is set to become a hub for the renewables sector thanks to the major expansion of the Beatrice offshore wind farm, which is being built in the Moray Firth.
Constructed in the 19th century by renowned civil engineer Thomas Telford to serve a fishing industry that was booming in Northern Scotland at the time.
A number of maritime buildings designed by Telford will be refurbished and used as part of the on-going project.
Once completed in 2019, the wind farm will be capable of generating enough power for almost half a million homes – the conservation of the structures will be a major part in delivering the wind farm.
Doug Soutar, of design and construction consultants Pick Everard, said: “The onshore aspect of the project includes the conservation, re-planning and part reconstruction of two blocks of the historic Old Pulteneytown area of Wick.
“We’re delighted to be helping to bring these buildings, which are over 200 years old and with a long-standing history of being used for maritime purposes, back into service again after Highland Council granted planning permission,” he added.
The Beatrice development was approved by Marine Scotland back in March 2014, and an investment contract was granted by the UK government in the same year.
It is being delivered by a partnership formed between SSE Renewables, Repsol Nuevas Energias UK and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
Forty per cent of the project is owned by Scottish energy giant SSE; a 35 per cent stake is owned by Danish fund management firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners; and China-based firm SDIC Power owns 25 per cent.
Beatrice will create around 890 jobs every year to Scotland and benefit the UK economy by around £680 million during the construction phase.
The wind farm is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be one of the biggest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure.