Cable Installation Starts on Gwynt y Môr OWF, UK
The latest stage in the construction of Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, off the North Wales coast, has got underway with the start of inter-array cable installation.
The subsea cables will connect all 160 turbines to the two offshore substations already installed more than eight miles off North Wales in Liverpool Bay.
The work is being carried out by UK based Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical Limited using the Polar Prince vessel.
The £40m contract for the company, which has offices in Stockton-On-Tees and Aberdeen, will see Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical assist with engineering, project management, ROV (remotely operated vehicle) and survey operations linked to the subsea installation and burial of all infield array cables.
RWE npower renewables’ Gwynt y Môr Project Director, Toby Edmonds said: “The start of array cable installation is an important milestone in the construction of Gwynt y Môr.
“148 kilometres of 33 kV cable has been manufactured by the Norwegian company Draka and will be placed in the seabed to connect each turbine to the offshore substations.
“Half of the wind turbine locations already have foundations installed and the array cables will be connected to the transition pieces before the towers, blades and hubs are placed later this year.
“Array cable installation is scheduled to continue throughout 2013 and into 2014.”
Electricity generated by the Gwynt y Môr turbines will be carried via the array cables to the offshore substations and then taken by four subsea export cables to a beach landing point at Pensarn, near Abergele, North Wales. From there, the energy will be carried underground via an 11km cable route to a new substation near St Asaph and fed into the National Grid.
Progress is well underway with works on the underground cable route and onshore substation almost complete. Wind turbine installation is scheduled to begin from the Port of Mostyn on the Flintshire coast in April with first generation expected in the summer.
Tim Sheehan, Executive Vice President Commercial of Reef Subsea, said: “We are extremely pleased to be now working offshore installing cables on the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. It has been a very complex mobilisation phase, which has demanded a significant amount of pre-engineering work, major vessel enhancements and delivery of a new cable plough. With the support of a very skilled team both onshore and offshore, we look forward to continuing the installation of all 161 inter-array cables throughout the rest of the year and into 2014.”
Press Release, March 19, 2013; Image: Reef Subsea