The offshore substation for ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE windfarm has successfully been installed in the southern North Sea, some 59 km from the coast of Lowestoft.
One of the largest structures of its type in the world, the installation was supported by the state-of-the-art Oleg Strashnov vessel, which lifted and secured the substantial steel structure in to the sea with precise placement.
The steel jacket, which weighs 2,600 tonnes and stands 58 metres tall, sits on four piles, each weighing around 350 tonnes. The topside weighs around 4,200 tonnes, and will house all of the electrical equipment needed to distribute the power from the 102 wind turbines back to shore in Suffolk.
Over the next 4 months around 60 electrical engineers and technicians will work around-the-clock to complete the installation of the equipment needed to commission the substation, so it is ready for the first turbines being switched on. The team will be based on-board the GMS Endeavour jack-up ‘hotel’ vessel, which will be situated adjacent to the substation.
Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE project director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The offshore substation is the single largest and most complex piece of kit that we will build for this project, so it is good to see the structure safely in place. Now we will press on with the intricate electrical work, and continue with the installation of the turbine foundations. From the middle of next year we will start installing the towers and the blades, with electricity being generated before the end of 2019. We are very pleased with progress on East Anglia ONE. It won’t be long now until the windfarm is making an important contribution to the UK’s clean energy goals.”