Lowestoft organisation secures business from Norfolk offshore wind farm developer

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy group, has contracted Lowestoft-based Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), to measure offshore weather and sea conditions for its offshore wind farm developments.

The contract secures work for 12 specialists, managers and vessel crew for three-years. Cefas employs 450 people in total at its Suffolk base.

Cefas’ specialist staff and technologies will explore the oceanographic processes which will be exerted on the turbine structures of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farms. Norfolk Vanguard will have a capacity of 1.8GW, capable every year of delivering nearly 2% of UK demand with fossil-fuel free electricity.

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Norfolk Vanguard project said: “We are very pleased to be able to secure work for 12 employees in East Anglia. Cefas is a world-leading scientific centre providing oceanographic services and we are lucky to have them on Norfolk Vanguard’s doorstep.”

Dr David Pearce, Principal Investigator for Cefas, said: “The UK’s world leading offshore wind industry is growing rapidly and Cefas, and our staff will play an important role in that growth. We’re delighted to win this major contract with Vattenfall to support Norfolk Vanguard’s sustainable development.”

Dr Zoe Roberts of Vattenfall says: “A key element of developing any offshore wind farm is understanding the meteorological and oceanographic regime at the development site. The data collected during this three-year campaign will ensure structures are strong enough to survive in the offshore environment but not over-engineered, thereby minimising costs.”

The measurement campaign will provide combined datasets for an in-depth oceanographic assessment of the wind farm development zone. This data will be used to understand the pressures the marine environment in that area of the North Sea will place on the turbines structures and enable Vattenfall to select an appropriate design for the Norfolk Vanguard development.

Norfolk Vanguard is a 1.8 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm development located more than 47km from the Norfolk coast. Vattenfall will apply for consent for Norfolk Vanguard in 2018 and hopes to begin construction in the early 2020s.