Monster turbines turning
Burbo Bank Extension, a new offshore windfarm boasting the first commercial use of record-setting 8MW turbines, was officially opened at a ceremony in Liverpool, UK in May.
The wind farm is a joint venture between Denmark-headquartered DONG Energy (50%) and its partners PKA (25%) and KIRKBI A/S, parent company of the LEGO Group (25%). It is the first offshore wind farm in the world to make commercial use of the MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines.
Just one of these wind turbines produces more energy than the whole of Vindeby, the world's first offshore windfarm constructed by DONG Energy 25 years ago in Denmark and there are 32 of them at Burbo Bank Extension.
The turbine blades are 80m long and each weighs 35 tonnes. They were designed and manufactured on the Isle of Wight by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind at their world-leading blade factory. The 450-tonne transition pieces (which link each turbine tower to its foundations) were built by Offshore Structures Britain in Teesside. The assembly of the turbines took place in Belfast.
RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “This game-changing project is a testament to the offshore wind industry’s strong commitment to relentless innovation - including the state-of-the-art turbine blades which were designed, tested and made on the Isle of Wight, and the huge transition pieces built in Teesside. It’s great to see a variety of places in the UK benefitting from offshore wind, as the turbines were assembled in Belfast Harbour.”
Bali Padda, CEO of the LEGO Group, said: "We work to leave a positive impact on the planet and I am truly excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm. This development means we have now reached the 100% renewable energy milestone three years ahead of target. Together with our partners, we intend to continue investing in renewable energy to help create a better future for the builders of tomorrow."
DONG Energy is building a new multi-million pound operations facility in Merseyside that will serve both Burbo Bank Extension, and the existing wind farm in the area, Burbo Bank. Up to 75 jobs will be created during the construction of the facility, while around 45 people will be permanently employed at the site once it is operational, later this year.
DONG Energy is currently operating 17 offshore wind farms across the UK, Germany and Denmark and was recently the world's first developer to reach the installation of 1,000 offshore wind turbines.
By Jake Frith
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