Almost a third of homes in Wales will be powered by wind energy as part of a major wind farm substation constructed in Belfast.
This month also saw the start of the laying of foundations and subsea cables for the first of the 160 wind turbines, which will make up the 576MW offshore wind farm.
The latest milestone for the Welsh offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Mor, was achieved on Monday with the departure by sea from Belfast of the UK-engineered-and built Siemens offshore substation.
Destined for installation in Liverpool Bay, the 1,500 tonne platform was jointly designed, engineered and fabricated by Siemens in Manchester and Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd.
Sales manager at H&W, David McVeigh, said: “It is great to see these major projects designed and built in the UK.
“These projects utilise a vast range of UK products, equipment, services and personnel. The substations are a shining example of British companies working together to achieve great things.”
When completed the wind farm will generate green energy for almost a third of the total of homes in Wales, Siemens said.
The first substation left H&W on Monday. When it reaches its destination off the coast of north Wales on Tuesday it will be lifted by crane on to a foundation. Connections from the wind farm arrays and the shore can then be made to the platform. The substation will start exporting power to the electricity grid in 2013.