Neos Networks, one of the UK’s leading business connectivity providers, is to provide vital communications links between the Viking Energy Wind Farm, being constructed in Mainland Shetland, and the headquarters of SSE Renewables, in Perth in the Scottish mainland, more than 300 miles away.
Starting its construction in 2020, the Viking Energy Wind Farm is one of the largest projects of its type in the UK. When fully operational, it will also be one of the UK’s most productive wind farms, capable of providing energy for nearly half-a-million homes.
Neos have been appointed by SSE Renewables to support the project with the provision and delivery of a machine-to-machine (M2M) network – which will enable the energy provider to control and monitor the performance of the 103 wind turbines remotely – and provide links back from Shetland to SSE’s headquarters in Perth.
“With any new facility of this size, scope and importance, deploying and provisioning first class communications links are critical to its operational performance,” said Andy Ainsley, Head of Energy and Utilities at Neos Networks. “We’re delighted to have been entrusted with this vital element of the project.”
The Viking Energy Wind Farm site in Shetland is wholly owned by SSE Renewables and construction is expected to be complete in 2024. The wind farm will not only provide a reliable, renewable, energy source for the island’s 23,000-strong population, it will also power homes across the UK and is expected to generate £2.2m annually in community benefit revenue for the islands for its expected 25-year operational lifetime.
Derek Hastings, SSE Renewables’ Head of Onshore Projects, said; “We’re pleased to be working with Neos to deliver the communications links we will need to ensure the efficient operation of Viking Energy Wind Farm. The solution Neos is providing will allow us to share and monitor local wind farm performance data in real time with SSE’s world-class Renewable Operations Centre in Perth, once the wind farm enters commercial operation. This will be crucial in helping ensure that Viking, as the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm, operates at maximum efficiency to deliver homegrown renewable energy to consumers in Shetland and the wider UK.”
The provision of connectivity infrastructure, in tandem, of an undersea 600-megawatt high voltage power cable is vital to delivering the project, enabling the islands to generate wind power for the rest of the United Kingdom. As well as creating around 300 jobs during its construction, the completed project will also diversify the local economy and introduce around 35 permanent employment positions and apprenticeships in the islands.
The communications links are vital for the efficient running of the wind turbines. Performance data can be monitored locally and back at SSE Renewables headquarters to ensure the farm is operating at maximum efficiency, with the M2M comms across the entire site also highlighting any potential issues and enabling preventative maintenance.
Neos Networks are a Gold Sponsor of the Connected North event, organised by Total Telecom. Find out how you can join them in Manchester on the 17-18 April 2023 HERE