Spain's IBERDROLA has connected the first offshore wind turbines at West of Duddon Sands (WODS) wind farm
in the Irish Sea to the UK grid.
IBERDROLA is carrying out the project via its subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables and in cooperation with Danish firm Dong.
WODS will have a 389MW capacity and have cost £1.6 billion when it is completed.
Forty-two of the 108 Siemens wind turbines that will make up WODS have been installed, and the first four turbines have been connected to the national electricity grid
WODS is about 20km from Barrow-in-Furness, on the North-West coast of England.
It has been under construction for two years.So far, 200km of cables have been installed under the sea and the 108 foundations have been finished.
The site covers a surface area of about 67sq km.
Energy produced by the wind turbines is collected in an offshore substation designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions in the area.
The voltage is raised in the substation and then two undersea cables export the electricity to the Heysham substation on land, which is the point of connection to the UK grid.
A new terminal at the port of Belfast was built specifically for installing offshore wind farms and is being used to store and pre-assemble all the parts and components.
Installing the turbines are a number of purpose-built vessels includeing thePacific Orca. It is161m-long, 49m-wide and 10.4m-deep. It transports the foundations.
The Sea Installer is used to take the wind turbines and blades out to location.
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