The West of Duddon Sands offshore windfarm project, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Dong Energy, is celebrating the successful installation of the final turbine at the 389MW project.
The 108th turbine was recently hoisted into position by the Sea Installer and electricity was generated for the first time in January 2014.
The West of Duddon Sands windfarm is located in the East Irish Sea approximately 14 km from the nearest coast on Walney Island, Cumbria. It is situated in the vicinity of nearby operational windfarms: Barrow, Walney and Ormonde.
The focus now turns to finishing the commissioning work on the rest of the turbines, getting them up and running and delivering power to the UK grid. This work is well underway and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables Project Director, said:
“It is a fantastic achievement to complete turbine installation on West of Duddon Sands. We faced some very challenging conditions, including one of the stormiest winters in recent history, but managed to continue working on schedule. Over 1,000 people have been employed on this project, and everyone has worked incredibly hard to help us reach this milestone. We look forward to fully completing the project by the end of the year.”
This project makes a major step towards the UK achieving its 2020 renewable energy target. The significant investment of £1.6bn is the start of a major commitment in offshore wind by ScottishPower Renewables.
Size and scale
The top line facts and figures are:
- Engineers have now installed all 108 turbines that make up the overall project.
- Once completed later this year, the windfarm will be capable of generating up to 389 megawatts (MW) of electricity – enough to meet the annual electricity demands of approximately 280,000 homes.
- All 108 wind turbines used in the project will be of the same type; Siemens Wind Power SWP 3.6 megawatts with a 120 metre rotor diameter.
- Site work has been underway for two years and more than 1,000 people are currently employed on the project In this time engineers have installed more than 200 km of cables, and all 108 foundation sections have been completed.
- A £50m upgrade of Belfast harbour to develop the first purpose built terminal for the assembly of offshore wind turbines in the UK has now been completed. This 50-acre facility will support the construction of the West of Duddon Sands offshore windfarm.
We’re committed to being a leader in renewable energy supplies here at ScottishPower and are therefore very excited about offshore wind projects like this. They not only help to reduce carbon emissions and secure energy supplies, but also stimulate major investment and create skilled employment locally and in the wider industry.
And in the long term, the West of Duddon Sands project and the development of Belfast harbour both strengthen the position of the Irish Sea as one of the UK and Europe’s most important offshore wind power hubs. We’re proud to see both ourselves, and Europe in general, making progress towards a better world.