160-tonne 'reactor' winds its way to East Lothian as part of vast £1.8 billion wind farm

Construction of a giant offshore wind farm has taken a slow but critical step forward after the delivery of a massive “shunt reactor”.

The 160-tonne device, which measures ten metres long, three metres wide and five metres high, is a vital piece of equipment to support the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm. It was delivered to the wind farm’s connection to the National Grid in the Lammermuir Hills on the back of a giant trailer.

A second shunt reactor is due for delivery next weekend.

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Project director Matt Haag said: “The shunt reactor is vital to enable NnG’s safe connection to the National Grid. We’re grateful to all our neighbours in Innerwick and the surrounding area for their patience as we ensured its safe passage to the substation.”

The abnormal load making its way to Crystal Rig. Picture: Peter Devlin

The reactor is a vital piece of equipment that provides voltage control and compensates for the length of the onshore and offshore cables that will deliver up to 450 megawatts of green electricity from the wind farm in the outer Forth Estuary to its onshore substation at the existing Crystal Rig onshore wind farm. The substation is planned for completion next year.

The shunt reactor was transported, under police escort, to the onshore substation near Innerwick, East Lothian from the Port of Leith on a special 67-metre long trailer. It was then transferred onto a 45m trailer capable of negotiating the narrower road up to Crystal Rig.

Neart na Gaoithe – meaning “strength of the wind” – is a key UK offshore wind farm project with up to £1.8 billion invested in its infrastructure.

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Another view of the abnormal load making its way to the location in East Lothian. Picture: Peter Devlin

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