First Rampion power generated

MPI Discovery MPI jack-up vessel 'Discovery' was used to transport the components for eight turbines at a time from Esbjerg in Denmark to Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

The first of Rampion Offshore Wind Farm’s 116 turbines has started generating electricity, marking the project’s move towards full operation.

The remaining turbines for the E.ON farm, 13km off the coast of Sussex, UK, will be commissioned and turned on one by one in the coming months.

Turbine commissioning manager Adam Simmonds said: “The completions and commissioning phase has had numerous challenges, so it is exciting to now be producing electricity that is exported to the national grid.

“Once a turbine is running, we carry out a 240 hour reliability test to monitor its performance and identify any final snagging items before it is handed to the operations and maintenance team to begin its working life, turning wind into clean, green electricity.”

September completion

The installation of all the turbines was completed in September, within a six-month period, with the use of MPI jack-up vessels Discovery and Adventure.

The vessels transported the components for eight turbines at a time from Esbjerg in Denmark to the site.

Each turbine consists of an 80m tower, weighing approximately 200t. The towers were lifted and positioned onto each foundation and a nacelle fitted to the top of each tower.

The towers each house a generator, gearbox and three blades - each measuring 55m in length and which were hoisted and connected one at a time.

Electrical infrastructure

Work has also included completion of the project’s electrical infrastructure.

Offshore, this meant the burial of 144km of array cables, which connect the turbines to the offshore substation, as well as the completion of the offshore substation itself.

Onshore, all 26.8km of cables are now installed and working, and the substation at Twineham is also operating.

Teams of technicians working inside the turbines and onshore in the control rooms will continue carrying out the final work required for each turbine to start producing electricity.

All turbines are due to be generating power by the end of 2018.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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