Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Site Updates (UK)

By Nathalie Stevenson

As we near the end of the first year of the project, I wanted to take the opportunity to recap the significant progress that has been made by Narec as we work towards our target to have first demonstrator deployments by the end of 2013/early 2014.

Our proposed facility was awarded a grant of £18.5 million for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in February of this year and having established a project team, Narec was awarded an agreement for lease from the Crown Estate in August 2010; The purpose of the facility as expressed in the lease is to ‘demonstrate prototype or 0 series wind turbines together with ancillary foundations and electrical systems for research and development purposes prior to full serial production or commercial scale orders’.

A number of development activities have now been progressed and consultation is taking place with special interest groups, including local fishermen. Most recently, Borehole and associated testing for the offshore monitoring platform was completed by the jack-up ‘Goliath’ vessel ahead of the contract for works being awarded to McNulty Offshore Construction.

Narec has obtained a 99.9 MW grid connection quotation offer from the regional DNO, NEDL (Northern Electric Distribution Limited) which is part of CE Electric. The agreement will enable wind generators utilising full power converter technology to connect to the offshore demonstration site and export their generated power to the grid. The offer covers the establishment of a connection from Narec’s 33kV/66kV onshore substation to the 66kV grid connection point situated on the former Blyth Power Station site.

Narec is working towards acceptance of the offer by the end of January 2011, and a build programme for the project will agreed with NEDL shortly after acceptance.

We hope that you agree that this is a hugely innovative and exciting project for the UK and we look forward to working with you in future. On behalf of all of my colleagues at Narec and our partners on this project, may I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.



Source: narec, January 06, 2011