With the black bream spawning season at a close, piling work to install wind turbine foundations at Rampion has recommenced this week while disposal of the two unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices found 3km offshore is planned to take place over the summer.
20 monopile foundations, each weighing between 500 and 800 tonnes depending on water depth, have already been installed and over the next four to five months two jack up barges – the MPI Discovery and Pacific Orca – will be deployed to install the remaining 96 foundations, by using a 1,000 tonne crane to lift each foundation upright before being lowered and piled into the sea bed.
Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “Over the last few months, our highly skilled team has continued to prepare the site for foundation installation, progressing with boulder relocation and unexploded ordnance surveys. We are now pleased to be entering the next stage of piling and we’ll now work towards installing the remainder of the foundations by the end of this year, in preparation for turbine installation to begin in 2017.”
The two unexploded devices, discovered earlier this year along the offshore export cable route and thought to date from WWII, are also planned to be disposed of this summer after permission was granted by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). Commercial and recreational sea users will be informed of the routine controlled explosion in advance and of a 1km radius safety exclusion zone during the event.
Onshore the 27km underground cable route, which transports the power from the point the cables come ashore at Brooklands Pleasure Park to the planned substation at Twineham, is developing well with around 60% of the ducting installation now complete. Horizontal directional drilling, a trenchless method of installing underground ducting and cabling has taken place under the railway just north ofBrooklands, theRiver Adur and A283 and the A27, to minimise the impact on the environment and to avoid disruption to local roads. Similar work is now planned on the final drill site, to cross the beach and the A259 to keep traffic moving along the coast road.
Throughout the development process the Rampion project has consulted with the local community and continues to provide information on construction activities. Rampion recently worked with West Sussex County Council to change an approved route for construction vehicles to avoid the southern section of Ham Road, Worthing, following local feedback. As part of the ongoing communications, homes and businesses in close proximity to the construction work at Brooklands were notified ahead of the drilling work taking place.
The 400MW 116 turbine project being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge, will, when complete provide enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 300,000 homes (1) and reduce C02 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes (2) a year.The project is due to be completed in 2018.
Notes to editors
1 = Based on an average annual domestic household electricity consumption of 4,700kWh (DECC):
1,366,560,000KWh / 4,700KWh = 290,757 homes.
2 = The calculation is made using a static figure of 430g/kWh representing the energy mix in the UK (1,366,560,000KWh x 430(g/kWh) / 1,000 = 587,621 tonnes pa.