Foundations for windfarm in place

The five gravity based foundations for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Windfarm project are in place and the next phase is under way. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.
The five gravity based foundations for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Windfarm project are in place and the next phase is under way. Picture by Chris Henderson Photography.

All of the wind turbine foundations are now in place off the coast of Blyth to mark the latest stage of a pioneering development.

EDF Energy Renewables is currently delivering the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Windfarm after taking over responsibility for the scheme from ORE Catapult, formerly Narec, in October 2014.

Five gravity based foundations (GBFs) for the turbines, designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, have now been installed using a new float and submerge process – the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines.

Once the GBFs were floated into position, they were submerged onto the seabed and further ballasted to provide the necessary support structures for the project.

BAM Nuttall regional director Gareth Farrier said “This is a significant milestone in both the construction of the Blyth project and in the development of the BAM gravity base foundation.”

The turbines have a total generating capacity of 41.5MW and, once operational, will produce enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.

Cable laying works, being carried out by VBMS, are now under way. Around 11km of buried 66Kv offshore cables will connect the individual turbines and bring the electricity onshore, where a further 1.5km of onshore cable will link directly to a new substation built on part of the for-mer Blyth Power Station site.

Installation of five MHI Vestas turbines will start soon.