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Blyth wind turbine foundations installed

Written by  OE Staff Monday, 11 September 2017 08:27

EDF Renewables has installed five gravity-based foundations (GBFs) at the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm.

Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, the GBFs were floated into position off the coast of Northumberland and submerged onto the seabed and further ballasted to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the turbines. The turbines were placed at the field using a new “float and submerge” process – the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines.

Installed around 6.5km off the coast of Blyth, the turbines have a total generating capacity of 41.5MW and once operational will produce enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.

Cable laying works being carried out by VBMS are now underway. Around 11km of buried 66Kv offshore cables will connect the individual turbines and bring the electricity onshore, where a further 1.5km of onshore cable will link directly to a new substation built on part of the site of the former Blyth power station. Installation of five MHI Vestas V164 turbines will commence in mid-September targeting first power being generated later this year. The turbines will have a power rating of 8.3MW – the largest to be used on an offshore wind farm.

Wholly owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles, the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project is being built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. Previously, EDF ER has constructed the Teesside wind farm off the North East coast at Redcar.

EDF Energy Renewables took over responsibility for the project from ORE Catapult (formerly Narec) in October 2014. 

EDF Energy Renewables Director of Operations Don Mackay said the Blyth offshore wind demonstrator project incorporates several new and innovative features as part of its role in testing and proving new and emerging offshore installation methods and technologies. In addition, the windfarm will benefit the local community and help the country to meet its low-carbon energy needs.

“The demonstration scheme will set a new technology benchmark for other similar offshore wind developments around the country,” Mackay commented.

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