West Of Duddon Sands, the first offshore wind farm to be carried out by Iberdrola Renovables, will generate 389 MW and come into operation in 2014. Iberdrola Renovables is a global leader in the development of offshore wind farm facilities, thanks to an order book of over 10,000 MW.
Iberdrola Renovables, through its subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, and the Danish company Dong have chosen Siemens to supply wind turbines for the West Of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm, which both companies are developing on a 50/50 basis in the United Kingdom and which is expected to come into operation in 2014.
The contract signed with the German company amounts to nearly €700 million and, in the case of Iberdrola Renovables, is the biggest ever agreement for the purchase of wind turbines for a wind farm, and its first offshore energy project.
Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens will undertake design and transport to the port of Belfast, installation and offshore start-up of 108 3.6 MW, 80 metres high wind turbines. These will be provided with a 5-year warranty from their coming into operation, under a separate maintenance contract.
West of Duddon Sands will have a total installed capacity of 389 megawatts (MW), enough to meet the electricity needs of 300,000 British homes. It will be one of the biggest offshore facilities in the world when it comes into service. This will be the first time that Iberdrola Renovables installs wind turbines with more than 3 MW of power at a wind farm, which represents a great technological leap forward for the Company.
The start-up of this renewable energy infrastructure will require a total investment of 1.6 billion pounds, which will be funded in equal parts by Iberdrola Renovables and Dong. The facility will be located 14 kilometres south-east of the cost of Barrow-in-Furness in England.
The two companies have already completed the full design of the project, which in addition to the order placed with Siemens includes planning of all of the farm’s power connections, consisting of the underwater wiring and the transformer station needed to carry the energy to the national power grid.
Assembly will largely be done in the port of Belfast, while the operations will be carried out from the port of Barrow. The construction of the wind farm will involve the use of two ships specially designed for this type of infrastructure, as they enable work to be carried out in extreme weather conditions.
The construction of the offshore facility will create an estimated 500 jobs, in addition to others needed in the future for operation and maintenance. Work is expected to begin next year on the electrical connections, while the wind turbines will be installed in 2013.
The United Kingdom, a centre for offshore operations
West of Duddon Sands, Iberdrola Renovables’ first offshore wind power project, marks the start of one of the most important technological missions in the Company’s history. The goal is to take the lead in the future development of this technology, which is considered a second renewable-energy revolution.
The Company has set up an Offshore Business Department based in Scotland to achieve this aim. The department will oversee the gradual implementation of the offshore wind facilities in its project portfolio, which already amounts to more than 10,000 MW around the world.
Among them in English waters is the East Anglia Array, to be developed jointly with the Swedish company Vattenfall. It will be one of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world, with an installed capacity of up to 7,200 MW. Last year this wind power project received approval from the National Grid, the operator of the British electric power network, to connect to the mainland power grid. This has been the most important authorisation for grid connection ever received by the Iberdrola Group in its history.
Other wind power developments in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom amount to an additional 2,500 MW between them. They include Wikinger, a wind farm located in German waters of the Baltic Sea, with a capacity of 400 MW, and the Argyll Array, in Scotland, whose offshore facility has a potential capacity of between 500 MW and 1,800 MW.
Iberdrola Renovables is present in 23 countries. It was the company that commissioned most renewable energy capacity in the world in 2010, at 1,780 MW. As a result, it is a world leader in wind energy, where it is the biggest operator, both in terms of installed capacity, with 12,834 MW at the close of the first quarter of 2011, and production, at 7,636 million KWh generated in the first three months of this year.