A project to construct a brand new wind farm in the East Irish Sea has got off to a great start.
The West of Duddon Sands project comprises the construction of a 108 turbine wind farm, providing a total capacity of 389MW. The project – which is located 14km from Walney Island – is a 50/50 joint venture between DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables.
Work began on the project in May 2013, following the successful installation of the site’s offshore substation. Once work is complete on the project, the new wind farm will provide more than 300,000 UK homes with clean renewable energy.
Installation of the site’s substation was completed in two phases, which comprised the installation of the jacket foundation and the installation of the topside module. The substation is located within the 67km² site and will be linked to turbines via a series of inter-array cables.
Discussing the importance of the substation, Programme Director at DONG Energy, Henrik Scheinemann, said:
“The substation is really the heart of the wind farm, and the installation marked the real start of offshore construction on the West of Duddon Sands project. Over the coming months, foundations and transition pieces are being installed on site so it’s going to be a busy and exciting time for everyone involved in the project.”
ScottishPower Renewables Project Director, Charlie Jordan, added:
“The successful installation of the substation was a major engineering achievement. The entire kit is bespoke, designed to suit the specific project requirements at the West of Duddon Sands site, and the whole project team was delighted to successfully complete the first major milestone offshore.”
Construction work on the new offshore wind farm includes the installation of all 108 wind turbines and foundations, along with export and array cables. In addition to the installation of the substation, work onshore includes the grid connection on Heysham, Lancashire and the construction of new bespoke O&M facilities.
The total construction cost on the project is £1.6 billion. Work is currently taking place on the installation of turbine foundations, export and array cables. Turbines will be installed in August and will reach completion in June 2014.
The site for the wind farm was chosen because it offers excellent wind resources, has good water depths and is relatively close to the shore, making it ideal for grid access. The turbines chosen for the project are Siemens Wind Power SWP 3.6MW, with a 120 meter rotor diameter.
With a sizeable capacity, West of Duddon Sands wind farm is an important project for the offshore wind farm sector, which will help the UK continue as a front-runner in the implementation of wind power. In addition to creating more jobs, the wind farm will contribute significantly to a low carbon future.
CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, Keith Anderson, said:
“West of Duddon Sands will be the first offshore wind project in our pipeline to be commissioned, and marks the start of our extensive investment programme in the offshore wind sector.”
CEO of DONG Energy, Anders Eldrup, said:
“West of Duddon Sands will be DONG Energy’s ninth offshore wind farm in the UK and therefore underlines DONG Energy’s position as market leader within offshore wind.”
With more than 20 years’ experience in the development, construction and operation of wind farms across Northern Europe, DONG Energy will operate the West of Duddon Sands site on behalf of the joint venture with ScottishPower Renewables. DONG Energy also operates Walney and Barrow offshore wind farms, which are located – along with Ormonde wind farm – within the vicinity of West of Duddon Sands.
ScottishPower Renewables is a part of Iberdrola, the largest wind energy company in the world. By the end of 2012, the company’s combined onshore and offshore installed capacity was over 14,000MW with further developments in the works.
The West of Duddon Sands project is currently on schedule to reach completion in 2014. For more information about the project, please visit: www.dongenergy.com.