Work has now commenced in Norfolk to install the underground cables and construct the substations that will enable electricity produced by the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm to be distributed into the UK National Grid electricity network.
Two underground cables will run from Weybourne on the North Norfolk coast to Necton, near Swaffham where the new electricity substations are to be built to facilitate the connection to the National Grid. At 47km in length, these will be the longest underground onshore cables yet to be installed in the UK for an offshore wind farm.
Carillion plc is the contractor responsible for undertaking the cable construction and installation; this will involve them establishing a 40 metre working corridor across farmland belonging to 44 individual landowners, all of whom have entered into agreements with Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited.
Starting from Weybourne and working south along the construction corridor through North Norfolk and Breckland, Carillion’s use of the latest duct-binding and trenching machines is designed to ensure that the work is completed by late 2015/early 2016.
At the same time, two separate substations are being built on a site adjacent to the A47 highway near Necton in the Breckland district of Norfolk. Siemens Transmission and Distribution Limited is constructing the Dudgeon Offshore Wind substation into which the two underground cables will be connected, while National Grid will be constructing and commissioning its own new facility alongside the Dudgeon substation.
The majority of the substation construction activities will be completed by April 2016, but testing and commissioning will continue until November 2016.
Olav-Bernt Haga, the Facilities Manager for the construction of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm said: “The commencement of onshore construction activity in Norfolk this month means the project is currently on schedule, and we expect to deliver electricity generated by the first operational wind turbine to the National Grid during the first quarter of 2017.”
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm will be located 20 miles off the coast of Cromer in North Norfolk. When completed at the end of 2017, its 67 wind turbine generators will produce sufficient electricity to power 410,000 UK homes every year.