UK: Walney Officially Inaugurated
On 9 February 2012, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, located in the East Irish Sea, was officially inaugurated by Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, at a ceremony in the Barrow-in-Furness Town Hall.
In the presence of representatives from the owners, local dignitaries, senior management from DONG Energy and representatives from contractors, Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, cut the red ribbon that marked the official inauguration of the Walney Offshore Windfarms.
At the inauguation, Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, made the following statement:
”Britain has a lot to be proud of in our growing offshore wind industry. The great natural resources of our island, our basis for development and a proud history within research make us the top location for investments in offshore wind power. And Walney is the newest, largest and fastest built wind farm project to date delivering clean energy for hundreds of thousands of households.”
All possible weather windows used to ensure progress
All possible weather windows are used to ensure progress in the commissioning of the wind farm. As of 20 February, 27 turbines in Walney 2 have had first power, and all periods with reasonable weather are used to bring the turbines in operation.
However, the commissioning of the turbines requires a number of visits to the turbine and substation before each turbine can be put into operation to ensure that the cables and controls are connected correctly. And in the Irish Sea, the weather at winter time is a strong factor.
Progress was also good for installation of armour stones for scour protection
Tideway Rollingstone has commenced installing armour stones for scour protection and has almost finished the remaining positions in Walney 1 as well as 10 positions in Walney 2.
Due to a minor fire late February 2011 onboard the vessel Pompei, it had to stop placing armour stones for scour protection around approximately 16 positions in Walney 1; a work, which Tideway Rollingstone now has undertaken.
The Walney Offshore Windfarms
The Walney Offshore Windfarms project is located approximately 15km west of Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. The project consists of Walney 1 and Walney 2 each with 51 – 3.6MW turbines, giving a total capacity of the Walney project of 367.2MW. The rotor diameter of the turbines is 107m for Walney 1 and 120m for Walney 2, with a maximum height of 150m from blade tip to sea level. The total area of the development is some 73km2.
Dredging Today Staff, February 20, 2012; Image: dongenergy