Progress at East Anglia ONE, Hornsea and Race Bank

Britain’s offshore wind industry continues to move forward, with three North Sea wind farms reaching different milestones in the summer.   

First, construction work has begun to build the hub of the proposed East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm in Lowestoft – a new operations and maintenance building is to be constructed at Associated British Ports’ Hamilton Dock, which will support the day-to-day operation of the giant – up to 800 MW – wind farm being developed by ScottishPower Renewables.

Great Yarmouth-based 3sun Group has been awarded of a £2.5mn contract to service the construction stage of East Anglia ONE from the new hub on Lowestoft docks. Around 100 people will be employed full-time at the base once East Anglia ONE is completed, says ScottishPower Renewables.

The new operations and maintenance facility, which is being designed and built by NRS Group, will help to support the offshore phase of construction work on the windfarm and the 30-plus years operational lifespan of the project, adds the company.

Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables Project Director for East Anglia ONE, said: ‘Through the development of our four offshore windfarms off the Suffolk coast we will be able to deliver cleaner renewable energy for future generations, simultaneously creating lasting skilled career opportunities in Lowestoft and across East Anglia.’

East Anglia ONE will see 102 wind turbines installed in the southern North Sea, approximately 30 miles off the coast. Onshore construction work for the cable route and substation at Bramford, Suffolk, is also underway, with plans for the first turbines to be installed in 2019.

Meanwhile, Ørsted has placed a turbine order with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) for its massive Hornsea Project Two wind farm under construction off the Yorkshire coast. When operational in 2022, Hornsea Project Two will overtake its sister project, Hornsea Project One, to become the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with a capacity of 1,386 MW.

This is SGRE’s largest ever wind turbine order. The company will provide all 165 turbines, each rated at 8 MW, with the majority of the turbine blades to be manufactured at the SGRE facility in Greenport, Hull. The project will use the first ever 81 m blades to be manufactured in the UK – when assembled, the turbines will have a rotor diameter of 167 m, the largest available on the market, says Ørsted.

Last, Race Bank, a new 573 MW offshore wind farm with 91 Siemens Gamesa 6 MW wind turbines, has been opened. Many of these turbines feature the first blades to be manufactured at the SGRE blade factory in Hull. The wind farm is located off the North Norfolk coast and is operated from Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby.

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