The Blyth offshore wind farm is on track to start generating energy at the end of 2017, EDF Energy Renewables says.
The developer has announced that the first of the wind farm’s five concrete gravity based foundations (GBF) is en route from a dry dock on the River Tyne to its final destination.
The 41.5 MW wind farm will comprise five MHI Vestas V164 turbines installed 6.5 km off the coast of northeast England. It will demonstrate the use of the 8.3 MW turbines as well as other pioneering new techniques and technologies.
The GBFs will be installed using a new ‘float and submerge’ method. Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, the GBFs will be floated into position at sea and submerged onto the seabed to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the installation of the wind turbines.
The project will also be the first to use 66 kV cable technology to connect the wind farm to the onshore substation.
Once the GBFs are put into position over the summer, specialist contractor VBMS will start laying the inter array cables that will connect the individual wind turbines.
Installation of five MHI Vestas V164 turbines will commence once the cable is securely buried on the sea bed. It is anticipated that the turbines will start generating power by the end of the year, EDF said.
EDF ER Chief Executive Matthieu Hue said “This is the first time that this float and submerge method has been used on a wind farm project. The GBFs are held in place by gravity and this unique design reduces the need to use expensive marine equipment for the installation on the sea bed.”