On 22 March the first of thirty REpower 5M 5 MW wind turbines was installed at Vattenfall’s Ormonde wind farm in the Irish Sea, using the SeaJack barge, which carries components for two such wind turbines (two nacelles, two fully assembled rotors (hub plus blades), and two upper and two lower tower sections). This is the first time two turbines of this scale been partially assembled in this way and then transported in a single trip.

The two turbines were transported from Harland & Wolff, Belfast, to the site which is 10 km west of Barrow-in-Furness on the English west coast. The installation barge is first jacked up on its four legs and a work party is then transferred onto the turbine foundation (which is of the OWEC type) to receive and install the tower sections, each weighing about 100t. Next the 315 t nacelle is installed, followed by the 126 m diameter rotor, weighing about 146t.

Ormonde was originally intended by its developers (Eclipse Energy and GE) to be a hybrid installation, with 200 MWe of open cycle gas turbine capacity (perhaps LMS100 models) using gas from two nearby fields. But Vattenfall scrapped the gas turbine plan in 2009, after further evaluation, having acquired the Ormonde project in 2008.

Repower 5M turbines have been previously installed in UK waters, as part of the twin turbine Beatrice demonstrator off the coast of Scotland.