Sailing ahead with windfarm plans

The turbine ship heads out to sea.'Picture by Tom CollinsaDSC_1061.JP
The turbine ship heads out to sea.'Picture by Tom CollinsaDSC_1061.JP

AN offshore wind farm is on course to be completed later this year.

EDF Energy Renewables is exactly one year into its plans for the Teesside Offshore Windfarm which will eventually have 27 turbines, each more than 380ft high.

The 2.3MW turbines will be capable of producing over 60MW of electricity – enough green energy to power up to 40,000 households.

Officials say that, as of last week, six turbines were completely installed and a seventh tower was waiting to have its blades installed.

The hub for the wind farm work is at Hartlepool Marina which is also where the massive ship MPI Adventure is based.

It is a large six-leg jack up vessel designed to transport, lift and install the turbines. The ship is the world’s first purpose-built wind turbine installation vessel.

A spokesman for the wind farm project said the project would be completed early in the second quarter of 2013.

The wind farm is sited about a mile off the North-East coast near Hartlepool. It is the first UK offshore development undertaken by EDF Energy Renewables.

The company already has 21 operational onshore wind farms contributing 300MW of low carbon electricity in the UK.

Including the Teesside scheme, a further 224MW of additional capacity is currently under construction.

The turbines off the Hartlepool coast are being installed in three rows, in water depths of up to 50ft.

They are being positioned to maximise the energy available from the prevailing winds.

Each turbine has at least 1,000ft between them and 1,800ft between each row. The turbines, towers and foundations are being delivered by ship to the Port of Hartlepool, to reduce road traffic in the area.

Transfer of materials to the offshore construction site is being done by specialist barges.