UK: DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar Announce Completion of Installation of Two Substations on London Array
DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar announced that the two offshore substations have been installed at the London Array Offshore Wind Farm in the Thames Estuary, marking the completion of a key phase in the project‟s construction.
Built on three levels, the substations weigh over 1,260 tonnes each – roughly the equivalent of 200 African elephants.
Richard Rigg, Project Director at London Array, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for us and a real sign of progress as we look to build the first phase of what will be the world‟s largest offshore wind farm once complete.
“We should never underplay the difficulties of working offshore – especially when we‟re using a 6,800 tonne floating crane to place something that‟s 25m by 23m, and 22m tall, onto a foundation 15km from shore, but it‟s fair to say that things went swimmingly.”
The substations will transform the electricity generated by the wind turbines from 33,000 volts to 150,000 volts before exporting it, via four 50km export cables, to the new onshore substation at Cleve Hill, near Faversham, where the voltage will be increased to 400,000 volts before being fed into the existing 400,000 volt National Grid transmission network.
Since the start of offshore construction earlier this year A2Sea‟s „SeaWorker‟, who will be joined by the new build self-propelled vessel MPI Adventure, has been installing foundations onsite. Array cables, to connect groups of turbines to each other and to the offshore substations, will start to be installed shortly.
Preparations are also being made for the installation of the first export cable by the Stemat Spirit. The wind turbines, which are being supplied and manufactured by Siemens Wind Power, will start to be installed towards the end of the year.
The substations were designed, built and installed by Future Energy a joint venture between Fabricom, Iemants and Geosea , with the electrical systems supplied and installed by Siemens Transmission and Distribution Limited.
London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase One will cover 100km2 and includes 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. The consortium plans to complete construction on the first phase by the end of 2012. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.
The project consortium partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.
Source: London Array, July 13, 2011;