DONG hires WSP for wind farm engineering

July 25, 2014

DONG Energy, Denmark's largest energy company, has awarded three contracts to civil engineering group WSP for design work on the onshore substations for three offshore wind farms.

WSP says detailed design on the projects is now underway and it anticipates that  construction on the first of the projects will begin in the next six months.

Jon Johnson, senior technical director at WSP said: “Working closely with DONG Energy design engineers on a number of substation enables WSP to optimize and continuously improve the substation designs, assisting DONG Energy in driving down the outturn costs of the substations. Once complete the projects will make a substantial contribution to the renewable energy available to power the UK.”

The contracts cover all aspects of engineering design on the approved 580MW Race Bank wind farm (off East Anglia), on the proposed 258MW Burbo Bank extension (Burbo 2) wind farm (off north Wales), and on the 750MW Walney 2 wind farm extension (northwest). Walney photo at right from Dong Energy.

DECC still has to decide the fate of Burbo 2 after the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) issued its recommendation in June; PINS is due to issue its report on Walney 2 within the next three weeks.

WSP senior technical director Jon Jonsson said working across three projects would help WSP bring optimize performance and bring down costs for Dong.  “With over 20 years’ experience in transmission and distribution in the UK we will bring in-depth knowledge and understanding of onshore substation design to these projects.”

DONG Energy’s UK country manager Benj Sykes said the company was committed to continuing to support a UK supply chain in which it has already invested £5billion. 

In April, UK engineering consultancy WS Atkins won contracts to design the offshore substations at all three sites.

Subsidy debate

Also in April, the UKs Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) awarded contract-for-difference (CfD) subsidies to Dong Energy for three of its wind farm projects: Burbo Bank, Hornsea 1, and the Walney extension. These were among the eight planned renewable projects that received subsidies, which ensure that the projects receive a guaranteed price for the electricity produced.

The UK's National Audit Office has criticized the deals, saying the price guarantees may result in higher prices and do not protect consumer interests.

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