This week marks the installation of the last of 116 wind turbines to be installed at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.
Over the last six months, since the first turbine was installed in early March, two jack up vessels – the MPI Discovery and MPI Adventure – have worked tirelessly to install each turbine, transporting the components for eight turbines at a time from Esbjerg in Denmark to the site 13 kilometres off the Sussex coast.
Each turbine consists of an 80 metre tower, weighing approximately 200 tonnes, which has been lifted and positioned onto each foundation, a nacelle, fitted to the top of each tower, which houses the generator and gearbox and three blades, each measuring 55 metres in length which have been hoisted and connected one at a time.
Chris Tomlinson, Development and Stakeholder Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We’re especially proud to have achieved this remarkable feat, installing all 116 turbines ahead of schedule in just over six months. This major milestone sees the safe installation of all physical components visible above sea level, representing the full extent of the wind farm.
Since the spring we have also completed the lay and burial of 112 kilometres of array cables, which connects the turbines to the offshore substation, installed in April, before transporting power to shore.
“We now look forward to Rampion’s first generation of electricity later this year and to working towards completion and full operation in 2018.”
Further construction and commissioning work will now continue on both the offshore and onshore substations, as well as work to complete the onshore cable route, before the electrical infrastructure is complete and ready to carry power generated from the wind farm.
The 400MW project being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank Ltd and Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge, will, when complete provide enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes (1) a year, equivalent to around half the homes in Sussex. The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018.