The foundations are the steel structures that are driven into the seabed and provide the solid base for the wind turbines. This latest wind energy contract means Gwynt y Môr is now well positioned to move ahead with offshore construction works by the end of 2011, and comes a step closer to realising significant wind energy and carbon reduction benefits in the UK.
The wind power contract is worth around €240million, and has been awarded to the specialist consortium of Bladt Industries A/S and EEW Special Pipe Construction Gmbh, who have considerable experience of making foundations for offshore wind farms.
At 576 MW, Gwynt y Môr will be one of the largest offshore wind farms currently in construction, and is being built by RWE npower renewables. The project is a shared investment between partners RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München and Siemens. Once fully operational, energy generation from Gwynt y Môr is expected to be equivalent to the average annual needs of around 400,000 homes.
Announcing the award of the latest contract, RWE npower renewables’ Gwynt y Môr Project Director, Toby Edmonds said: “We’re delighted to have now awarded this important contract. This means Gwynt y Môr is now in a great position to drive ahead into offshore construction.
“Gwynt y Môr will deliver significant benefits in terms of clean, low carbon energy to the UK. By selecting Bladt and EEW, we are able to work with some of the most experienced foundations engineers, and one of the very few currently with the capability and experience to produce monopiles of the size, quantity and quality required for the Gwynt y Môr project.”
Peter Rindebæk, Managing Director of Bladt, added: "We are proud to be awarded this significant foundation contract by RWE. It is a recognition of the effective production setup combined with highly skilled project management that Bladt/EEW provides to the offshore wind energy industry."
RWE npower renewables is currently finalising the establishment of construction port facilities close to the site of the wind farm. At the port, final preparations will be made to the foundations before they are then installed. The port will also be the base for the installation vessels, engineers and technicians.
The first foundations are scheduled for delivery into the UK in late 2011 for installation shortly after. It is anticipated foundation installation work will be completed by late 2013. The offshore wind farm is being constructed 13 kilometres off the North Wales coast, in water depths of 12-28 metres, and was granted approval by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) back in December 2008.
Construction of the €2billion Gwynt y Môr project began in November 2009 when work to prepare land at St Asaph for the construction of a new 132/400kV substation was carried out.