The appointment follows SSE Renewables’ decision last month to invest £580m in what is set to be the UK’s largest onshore wind farm in terms of annual electricity output, which is expected to reach almost 1.9 terawatt-hours a year.
As part of its contract, RJ McLeod’s team will build the network of access tracks through the site as well as the new Sandwater road, construction compounds and the bases and crane pads for the turbines.
RJ McLeod plans to bring local opportunities to Shetland, ranging from direct employment to plant hire, material supply and more to help support the work.
SSE Renewables director of development Mike Seaton said: “SSE Renewables is delighted to announce RJ McLeod as the civil contractor for our Viking Wind Farm. We have a strong track record of delivering onshore wind farms successfully together.
“SSE Renewables and RJ McLeod are committed to maximising opportunities for the local, Shetland, and wider Scottish supply chain from Viking’s construction and to creating significant employment opportunities while we build this excellent flagship onshore wind project.”
The Viking Wind Farm is expected to support around 400 jobs at peak construction with many of those expected to be filled by the local workforce in Shetland.
RJ McLeod joint managing director Bruce Clark said: “We are very pleased to secure this high-profile contract. RJ McLeod has a wealth of experience of constructing wind farms and contracting successfully for SSE Renewables. We are used to working in remote locations, including historic experience of delivering projects in Shetland.
“As a business, we’re committed to approaching this contract in a way which seeks to maximise the opportunities for Shetland businesses.”
Construction of the project is programmed to begin in August and to be completed in 2024.