Neos to provide M2M network for Shetland wind farm
Neos Networks has confirmed that it is to provide the communications links from the Viking Energy Wind Farm, likely to be one of the biggest onshore wind farms in the world, and headquarters of the company building it, SSE Renewables.
The wind farm (pictured) is being built on Mainland, the biggest island in Shetland, the cluster of islands to the north of Scotland. The Neos connection, 450km long, will link the wind farm to SSE Renewables’ headquarters in Perth in a machine-to-machine (M2M) network.
It will allow SSE Renewables to control and monitor the performance of the 103 wind turbines remotely. The wind farm will provide enough energy for more than 475,000 homes, while saving half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, said the company.
“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 news is not really surprising, as Neos Networks was called SSE Enterprise Networks before it was renamed in 2021, and SSE Renewables is part of what used to be Scottish and Southern Energy.
Infracapital, the infrastructure equity arm of M&G Prudential, struck a deal in December 2018 to buy a 50% stake in SSE Enterprise Telecoms for up to £380 million.
SSE is hoping the wind farm will be complete in 2024. It will provide a reliable, renewable, energy source for the island’s 23,000 population, and will power homes across the UK. It is expected to generate £2.2 million annually in community benefit revenue for the islands for its expected 25-year operational lifetime.
Derek Hastings, SSE Renewables’ head of onshore projects, said: “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.”
Electricity from the wind farm will be delivered to the grid in Scotland and England via a subsea 600MW high voltage power cable.