Clean energy joint venture EDF Energy Renewables is to build a new offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland.
Construction work for the project has begun onshore with offshore work due to start in 2017. The offshore wind farm will consist of five turbines of 41.5 MW capacity, providing enough clean energy to power 33,000 homes. The project has permission for a maximum total generating capacity of almost 100 MW with the power being transported to an electricity substation at Blyth to be constructed by Balfour Beatty.
The project is wholly owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles but will be built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. It will use the latest generation offshore wind turbines, manufactured and installed by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and will be the first project to use 66 kilovolt cable technology. This will be installed by VMBS who specialise in subsea power cable installation. . The standard voltage for cables has been 33Kv until now but with turbines growing in power a higher specification has been developed.
The concrete gravity base foundations are the first of their kind to be built in the world and the new installation method of ‘float and sink’ will be used for the project. This is the first time this method has been used for wind turbines. The foundations will be designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne and will then be floated and sunk in position using tugs.
“As a company, we already have a strong presence in the North East, in low carbon electricity generation and serving customers including our first offshore wind farm at Teesside so we’re pleased to be able to add another project to our portfolio in the region” said Matthieu Hue, EDF Energy Renewables CEO. “We are delighted that the gravity based foundations will be made in Newcastle. The Port of Blyth will be used for operations and maintenance and the blades for the turbines will be made on the Isle of Wight.”