Foundations are laid for £1.5bn wind farm off Lowestoft coast
- Credit: innogy SE
The foundations for the first of fifty-six wind turbines for a wind farm off the north Suffolk coast has been laid as the £1.5bn project gets under way.
The 336MW Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, to be built off Lowestoft, is expected to generate the enough power for the equivalent of 330,000 homes.
The foundations are the steel monopiles, single poles which are driven into the seabed, and transition pieces placed into the seabed, which will provide a base for the 6MW wind turbines, due to be installed in the second half of next year.
Project director Toby Edmonds said: 'It has been a tremendously exciting twelve months for the Galloper project, with a huge amount of progress both in terms of the onshore infrastructure and the offshore preparatory works.
'It is fantastic to have commenced turbine foundation installation, another major milestone for the project.
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'From here-on-in, we will begin to see the offshore components of this nationally significant renewable energy project, really take shape.'
Offshore engineering firm GeoSea are managing the foundation installation and have sub contracted Sif Group and Smulders to produce the monopiles and transition pieces.
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The components are being loaded-out onto the GeoSea installation vessel Innovation in Rotterdam and Vlissingen with the installation phase planned to be complete by early summer 2017.
Each of the foundations will be around 85m in length and 7.5m in diameter, and weigh up to 1200 tonne.
Mr Edmonds said: 'In the last year we have built the majority of the onshore substation infrastructure; connected the first of two export cables; opened the project Offshore Construction Coordination Base in Lowestoft; celebrated the Siemens assembly base ground-breaking ceremony in Great Yarmouth; and submitted the planning application for our operations & maintenance base in Harwich.
'Next year, the bulk of our focus will, of course, be on offshore construction, but we will also be finishing the installation of the onshore electrical infrastructure and constructing the Operations & Maintenance base.'
The wind farm is an extension of the existing Greater Gabbard farm.