Wind farm hits a big milestone

Foundation installation completed on schedule at Rampion

Construction at Rampion has reached a significant milestone this week as installation of the 116 turbine foundations has been completed on schedule.

Work to install the first foundations began in early February and was put on hold, as planned, during the Black Bream spawning season between mid-April and July. Since then two jack-up vessels – the MPI Discovery and Pacific Orca – have worked tirelessly to install the foundations using a 1,000 tonne crane to lift each foundation upright before lowering and piling it into the seabed with a hydraulic hammer. The yellow transition pieces have also been fitted onto the foundations and sit approximately 20 metres above sea level ready to hold the turbines.

Over the next few months the team will make the final preparations for the turbine installation, due to commence in spring and continue throughout 2017. Work will also continue to progress on the offshore cabling and substation, a vital infrastructure which will eventually bring the power generated by the turbines ashore.

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development and Stakeholder Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We’re pleased and proud to have reached this project milestone and we appreciate the patience of local residents whilst these major works have taken place.

“Despite the adverse weather at the start of the year, the good autumnal weather conditions have enabled us to finish this phase of work ahead of winter, which is testament to the commitment of the construction team.

“We now look forward to starting the turbine installations in the spring, which will see the wind farm really begin to take shape as the 116 turbines are gradually installed throughout next year.”

The 400MW 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 347,000 homes (1) a year. The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018.