Blyth, United Kingdom – October 5th – The installation of five wind turbines off the coast of Blyth, has now been completed – marking the latest milestone in this ground-breaking offshore wind farm development.
The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind farm is a 41.5 MW facility located at about 6km of the coast using three leading-edge innovations around the foundation, the turbine and the cables.
Last month, five of the most powerful turbines were lifted and fitted onto the foundations using a specially designed jack-up vessel. The 8.3 MW MHI Vestas turbines are the most powerful to be used on an offshore wind farm.
This summer, the five gravity based foundations (GBFs) were installed at the site using a new “float and submerge” process – the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines. Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, the GBFs were floated into position off the coast of Northumberland and submerged onto the seabed and further ballasted to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the turbines.
The individual turbines have been connected to around 11 kilometres of buried 66kV offshore cables, which will bring the electricity onshore. This is the first time that such a voltage cable has been used for an offshore wind farm. A further 1.5 kilometre of onshore cable will link directly to a new substation built on part of the site of the former Blyth power station. The cable laying works have been carried out by VBMS, a Dutch company specialising in subsea power cable installation.
EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies, Antoine Cahuzac, said: “We are delighted to act as a driving force and pioneer in the Blyth Demonstrator offshore wind farm alongside industrial innovative players. The completion of this breakthrough project is in line with EDF Group’s major strategic goals in renewable for a low carbon energy sources and innovation to fight against climate change. Our second offshore wind farm project being installed off the coast of the United Kingdom gives us the opportunity to further enhance our expertise in the sector.”
EDF Energy Renewables CEO, Matthieu Hue, added: “The completion of the wind farm is one step closer now that we have achieved this latest milestone. The turbines, the foundations, and the cable are innovative features of this project, which is playing a major role in testing and proving new and emerging offshore installation methods and technologies.”
Once completed, the wind farm is expected to start generating power later this year. With a total generating capacity of 41.5MW, the turbines will produce enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.*
Wholly owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles, the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project is being built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. Previously, EDF ER has constructed the Teesside wind farm off the North East coast at Redcar.
*41.5MW installed x 0.369 offshore average load factor (a) x 8760 hours, divided by 3.938MWh
annual domestic energy consumption per home (b)
(a) Digest of United Kingdom energy statistics 2016, DBEIS, July 2016.
(b) Energy consumption in the UK, DBEIS, November 2016.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm – key facts:
- The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project will produce enough low-carbon electricity to
power approximately 34,000 UK households
- It will save around 57,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year
- It is the first offshore wind project to connect using 66kv rated cables
- It is the first time that a “float and submerge” gravity based foundation has been used for
offshore wind turbines
- 8.0MW wind turbines with a power mode uprating them to 8.3MW have been installed
- Each GBF is made up of more than 1,800m3 of concrete and weighs over 15,000 tonnes
when fully installed on the seabed. The structures have a total height of around 60 metres
from the base to the access platform
About EDF Energy Renewables:
EDF Energy Renewables (EDF ER) is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy companies which develops, builds and operates generation projects with a focus on onshore and offshore wind as well as battery storage technology.
EDF ER already operates more than 696 MW of wind farms (including 319 MW in Scotland) and has more than 545 MW consented, 170 MW in planning and 950 MW in development.
EDF ER is a 50:50 Joint Venture between EDF Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles.