ScottishPower Renewables has agreed a contract with Nexans and Darlington-based DeepOcean to fabricate and install the export cables for the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. The contract will safeguard 150 jobs in Darlington and the surrounding area, as well as enabling DeepOcean to offer significant opportunities to the UK supply chain.
The cables will carry the electricity from the 714 megawatt (MW) windfarm onshore in Suffolk, via two 85 km submarine cables with embedded fibre optics. Delivery of the cables will begin in summer 2018.
The contract award will also allow DeepOcean to maintain its policy of recruiting STEM graduates into the UK workforce. This policy has enabled DeepOcean to increase its skill base in the complex engineering and execution of demanding offshore projects on a year by year basis.
East Anglia ONE is a £2.5billion offshore windfarm, which will generate enough renewable energy to power 500,000 homes per year. ScottishPower Renewables is on target to deliver more than 50% of UK content across the life of the project.
The project will be the most cost efficient offshore windfarm ever to confirm construction, and is leading the way to meet the UK Government’s cost reduction targets. The price of £119 MWh was secured after a competitive auction process run by the Government, and is more than 15% lower than other offshore wind projects in construction elsewhere in the UK.
Jonathan Cole, Managing Director of Offshore Wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Both Nexans and DeepOcean have considerable experience in providing and installing cables for offshore wind power projects in the UK. DeepOcean have won a number of major contracts recently, and it is positive to see that many highly-skilled jobs in Darlington will continue to be supported with the award of this contract, and hopefully this will also lead to further recruitment and training opportunities in the region.
“This is a huge year for the East Anglia ONE project. Preparations are now underway for the initial work onshore, and we are in advanced planning stages for the offshore work, which will kick-off in 2018. We will deliver industry-leading levels of UK content, coupled with the fact that this is the best value offshore windfarm ever to go in to construction. We hope that further major contracts will be placed in the UK in the coming months, adding to the jobs and investment we are already creating in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Hull, Belfast and Darlington.”
DeepOcean’s Commercial Director for Cables & Trenching Pierre Boyde, said, “After building an extensive track record providing services on some of the most important offshore wind projects, we are delighted to be given this opportunity to develop our relationship with Nexans and their customer Scottish Power Renewables. There are significant opportunities for local suppliers to support DeepOcean for this scope of work and we also look forward to helping our customer deliver on the Supply Chain Plan for the project.
Vincent Dessale, Executive Vice President Subsea Energy System Business Line at Nexans, said: “We’re pleased to be working with DeepOcean on this project because of its experience and successful track record on existing offshore wind projects. We were happy to find a company with a base in the UK that shares our mission of providing opportunities for local companies.”
Picture caption: ScottishPower Renewables now has 30 operational windfarm sites producing over 1,600 MW, including West of Duddon Sands (pictured) its first offshore windfarm project.