Turbine fitters reach halfway point at wind farm off Brighton and Hove

Posted On 16 Jul 2017 at 1:29 am

The workers installing the 116 turbines for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, eight miles south of Brighton and Hove, have reached the halfway point.

Eon, the power company behind the £2 billion project, said that “two mighty jack-up vessels” would work together to install the remaining turbines – MPI Discovery and MPI Adventure.

The company said: “Both vessels bring the components of eight full turbines from Esbjerg, Denmark, to the site for installation before returning to the port for their next load as part of a continuous operation.

“Each round trip takes approximately 20 days.

“The installation of turbines will carry on through the summer and is expected to continue until late 2017.

“The commissioning of the turbines, to get them ready to start generating power, is due to begin in autumn.”

A 2,000-tonne offshore substation is also now in place having been lifted into position in April, marking yet another significant milestone for the project.

With 570 people working offshore on the Rampion project last month – the most so far – Eon brought in two floating hotel vessels – or floatels.

The aim was to “enable personnel to remain close to their workplace – saving both time and fuel on daily commutes”.

Eon said: “By using floatels, our technicians don’t need to transit to and from port every day.

“Instead they’re close to their workplace and can enjoy the vessel facilities, including gym, games room and restaurants, ensuring they’re well fed and rested ready for the next working day.”

Back ashore, the company has been recycling the cable drums, delivery pallets and other wooden materials used during the construction of the cable route.

The materials have been recycled by the contractor Carillion using Brighton-based social enterprise Community Wood Recycling.

More than 12 tonnes of wood from along the cable route have been collected by the group, which was set up to rescue and reuse waste timber that would otherwise be landfilled, while also providing jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for local people who are marginalised from the labour market.

The last of the 90 miles of array cables, that will transmit the power generated by the wind turbines to the offshore substation, have now been laid.

Cable installation project manager Alan Kelly said laying the cable in a narrow corridor between cleared unexploded ordnances and boulders was a challenge on the wind farm site.

The array cable installation is a two-step process where the cable is first placed on the sea floor before it is buried by a chain-cutting method to at least one metre below the seabed.

The cable burial will be completed by the end of the summer.

Laid end-to-end the array cables would stretch from Brighton to London and back.

A shorter distance separated Moby Dig – an elevated excavator being used to backfill cable trenches – and dry land.

Having become embedded in the seabed about 500 yards off Lancing, the vessel became something of a local talking point.

Eon said: “Its location 500 metres offshore presented a number of technical and engineering challenges that had to be overcome before it could be safely removed.”

Rampion’s development and stakeholder manager Chris Tomlinson said that the digger was too far out to recover from shore so it was decided to bring in a specialist sheerleg crane vessel.

Mr Tomlinson said: “Planning the removal, engaging contractors, ensuring the right equipment and people were available and assessing the seabed for the arrival of the barge, meant the digger was in place for around three months, long enough to become a part of the local community.

“It was heartening to see the excavator become such a popular topic of local conversation.

“However, after considerable effort to ensure its safe and effective recovery, we are pleased to report the removal operation has been a success.”

Moby Dig will now be salvaged.

The wind farm, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 350,000 homes, is expected to go live next year.

  1. A O Reply

    Such a shame that our tidal energy couldn’t be harnessed – it might not have looked as unsightly.

  2. Rostrum Reply

    They’ve ruined the view…

  3. DGB Reply

    Considering you can barely see them, and if you can, they look pleasant, the “they’ve spoil my view” progress-hindering moaners really need a new excuse.

    I have a sea-view, and it has not impacted it at all. If it had, then I’d still take it over destroying the future of our children’s planet. The selfishness of some people in this country is beyond belief.

  4. RUPERT Reply

    Why can’t we all have free solar pannels on our buildings

  5. Rostrum Reply

    DGB…. If you live with a sea view and can’t see them then you need to go to get your eyes checked… I’m all for renewables etc but if this was ‘onshore’ there would be hell to pay…

    • Robin Hislop Reply

      Rostrum, so you think they shouldn’t be placed out to sea, and if they were placed on land there would be an uproar. Where exactly should they be placed then? You say “I’m all for renewables” but I suspect that what you actually mean is “I’m all for renewables as long as it doesn’t impact my life in any way whatsoever”. Well, we’ve been been hiding the environmental impact of our fossil-fuel extraction in far away lands for far too long. Energy has to be produced somewhere, it seems pretty fair to me that it’s produced near the point of use, and that we accept that as the cost of using it.

  6. Gurdal Ertek Reply

    Distinct designs can bring new advantages, however I figure the critical criterion is the efficiency of the wind turbine ( Please check our research study from this link on wind turbine efficiencies: http://ertekprojects.com/url/b ) Also wind turbine failures and accidents are vital, and there is exceptionally constrained research on that topic, as well. It would be ideal if our research on wind turbine efficiencies and accidents find real world applications: http://ertekprojects.com/wind-turbine-accidents/ Feel free to reach me to me for your valuable inputs, Best Regards, Dr. Gurdal Ertek

  7. Jenni Sinclair Reply

    I can see them from up on the hill and I like them. I bet there’ll be boat trips around them in summer.

  8. Mick in Hove Reply

    Live 2 mins from sea in hove. Run on promonade most days. Sit on beach as often as poss. Love the windfarm. They look v cool and are better than the alternatives (oil/coal/gas/nuke). Most people I know like them. Few that don’t actually have no problem with them as long as they are somewhere else… Those people never come up with fair and viable alternatives. They just aren’t happy unless they are complaining about something. Global warming is a real thing just like being selfish is a real thing. No one is forcing anyone to live here. If the view is that bad there are lots of places you can live with no wind farms.

  9. stuart smith Reply

    We are under attack from wind turbines all over Wales but I think they are so greedy here they only think of the money in the short term !!.Our children’s children will be picking up the cost of this for many years to come !!.

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