RWE has taken a significant step towards achieving full power at its Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm, with the first generation of electricity. The generation milestone follows the successful delivery of vital onshore and offshore electrical infrastructure on schedule, and despite the challenges of constructing during the Coronavirus pandemic. The RWE-led Triton Knoll project began successfully installing its 90 offshore wind turbines in January and has since completed the required commissioning activities on the project’s transmission system to enable the export of power to the UK National Grid for the first time.
Tom Glover, Chief Commercial Officer RWE Renewables and RWE UK Country Chair said: “Achieving first power at Triton Knoll reinforces our position as a leading player in offshore wind and demonstrates our commitment to helping deliver the UK’s ambition to grow offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030. Today’s milestone is the result of many years’ collaboration with our local and national supply chain partners, and local communities with whom we have worked hard to deliver local benefits, jobs and investments, while investing in new renewable energy for over 800,000 UK homes.”
Triton Knoll offshore wind farm is located over 32 kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast. It is jointly owned by RWE (59%), J-Power (25%) and Kansai Electric Power (16%), with RWE leading both the wind farm’s construction and the long-term operation and maintenance works, on behalf of the project partners. Total planned investment volume amounts to approximately £2 billion.
First generation is being followed by a period of rigorous testing and commissioning, while the project continues to install the remainder of its 90 Vestas V164-9.5 MW turbines. All turbines are being handled at Able Seaton Port in Teesside where RWE, through Triton Knoll, has invested in establishing new turbine handling capabilities at the port for the first time in its history. Further investments in the region also include the creation of a new, multi-million pound operations base in Grimsby, which will generate up to 70 new, skilled jobs locally.
Vestas’ Isle of Wight and Fawley blade facilities is at the heart of turbine component production, and has manufactured the V164-9.5 MW turbines. Installation is being carried out by DEME, using the jack-up vessel Wind Osprey, provided by Cadeler.
With complete turbine commissioning due in 2021, and final project completion expected in early 2022, Triton Knoll wind farm will have an installed capacity of 857megawatts (RWE’s pro rata share: 506 MW), capable of supplying green electricity equivalent to the annual demand of over 800,000 UK homes. At the time of full operation, Triton Knoll will become the largest offshore wind farm operated by RWE, helping maintain RWE’s position as an offshore energy leader, and making a major contribution towards decarbonising the UK’s energy network.
RWE’s UK offshore portfolio continues to expand in the UK. In addition to Triton Knoll, the company’s 1.4 gigawatts (GW) Sofia offshore project is in a highly advanced stage at Dogger Bank. In addition, four extension projects are already beginning public consultation, and RWE recently bid successfully for two new offshore sites with a potential total installed capacity of 3GW in The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Round 4 Leasing auction.
By the end of 2022, RWE aims to expand its global renewables portfolio to a capacity of more than 13 gigawatts by investing a total €5 billion net during the years 2020 to 2022. With partners, the gross investment volume could total up to €9 billion, with the UK set to benefit as one of RWE’s core renewables markets.
“The successful first generation is a fantastic achievement for our Triton Knoll project, which has delivered first power on schedule while coping with the many challenges posed by the Corona pandemic. It is a great credit to the project team and to all our supply chain partners that we have achieved this milestone, and demonstrates our expertise and positive track-record for delivering significant offshore infrastructure. I’m incredibly proud of all the team and everyone who is working on this fantastic project for all that they have achieved. We are well on track to complete turbine commissioning in 2021, with final project completion of Triton Knoll in early 2022.”