Construction work on the £2.6bn Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) project has been given the green light.

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The plant will be operational by 2019

Owners SSE, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and SDIC Power have reached financial close on the project which will be one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure.

The 84 turbine project will be situated in the Outer Moray Firth.

Work at the operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will commence start this year.

Offshore construction will begin in 2017 and the wind farm is expected to become fully operational in 2019.

Paul Cooley, Director of Renewables at SSE, said: “Contracts have already been placed with many UK based suppliers, and Siemens intend to undertake turbine blade construction from Siemen’s new manufacturing facility in Hull.

“Around £10m of investment is planned at Wick Harbour to house the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facilities and improving the existing RNLI facilities.

“We expect a peak of around 65 jobs during construction of the O and M base with around 90 long-term jobs anticipated during the operational phase.”

The wind farm is being developed with a tier 1 supply chain comprising Seaway Heavy Lifting, Subsea 7, Nexans and Siemens and is expected to deliver £680m into the UK and Scottish economy via employment and supply chain opportunities during the construction phase.