EDF Energy Renewables is to utilise the Port of Blyth as a mobilisation and operation & maintenance base for a major new offshore wind farm that is to be installed off the coast of Northumberland.
In an exciting development for the UK offshore energy sector, the Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project will be built by EDF Energy Renewables, a UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy and will act as a demonstrator site for next generation offshore wind technologies and installation methods.
Project to be mobilised & operated at the Port of Blyth
The project will be be mobilised from the Port of Blyth and will use the latest generation offshore wind turbines manufactured and installed by Mitsubishi Vestas and will include advanced 66Kv cable technology to be installed by VMBS. Concrete gravity base foundations built in the North East by Royal BAM Group are the first of their kind in the world and a brand new ‘float and sink’ installation method will be used on the project.
The power generated by the wind farm will be supplied to an electricity substation at Blyth for transmission to the National Grid with turbines providing enough low carbon electricity to power 33,000 homes.
UK Offshore Energy Hub
This development highlights the Port of Blyth as a hub for UK offshore energy with the Port’s investment in the right infrastructure dovetailing nicely with the innovation and technology development taking place at Catapult and the number of suppliers based nearby making a significant contribution to the sector.
Matthieu Hue, EDF Energy Renewables CEO, said: “As a company, we already have a strong presence in the North East, in low carbon electricity generation and serving customers and including our first offshore wind farm at Teesside, so we’re pleased to be able to add another project to our portfolio in the region. We are delighted that the gravity based foundations will be made in Newcastle. The Port of Blyth will be used for operations and maintenance and the blades for the turbines will be made on the Isle of Wight.”
Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor said: “We’re delighted to be providing both an operational and mobilisation base for this significant offshore wind project and are thrilled that EDF Energy Renewables have selected the Port of Blyth as a key partner. This project further cements our reputation as a major energy port and outlines our capabilities as an offshore energy hub.”
Construction work for the wind farm has begun onshore and offshore work will see five turbines of more than 40 megawatts in capacity installed in 2017. The project has permission for a maximum capacity of almost 100 megawatts in total.