Walney 1 Offshore Wind Farm in Full Operation (UK)

All turbines in Walney 1 are now in operation. On 30 May 2011, the last of the 51 turbines in the Walney Offshore Windfarm 1 exported its first power to the grid, and a big milestone in the project was reached.

Jens Hansen, Senior Project Manager:

“This is a major achievement for the project, and I would like to thank all the people who have realised the installation and commissioning of Walney 1 for their effort and the commitment they have put into this project. We are now awaiting the completion of the final tests before signing of the Walney 1 project completely.”

51 turbines are now producing clean, renewable energy for the UK without any CO2-emission. The production from Walney 1 can cover the power consumption of approximately 160,000 UK households.

However, tests and minor corrections will still be performed in the farm during the next weeks, but soon the Barrow-in-Furness based operation and maintenance team will take fully over.

The project commissioning team

The commissioning of the turbines in Walney 1 commenced during Christmas of 2010 with the first turbines exporting power to the grid on 13 January 2011.

The project commissioning team consists of approximately 10 people, and some of the roles include commissioning management and electrical senior authorised persons.

The experience levels range from this being the first wind project people have worked on to this being one in a long line of offshore sites.

The project commissioning process is centred around energising the high-voltage system after the turbine manufacturer has completed the turbine commissioning. There are many aspects to be completed, including inspection, testing and proving system safety before this can be done.

There are always many challenges to overcome during the commissioning process, none more so than the offshore weather conditions. This part of the Irish Sea has very unpredictable weather which causes many delays. Also, technical issues, equipment failure and many subcontractor interfaces to be managed. It is testament to the team that they have managed to overcome all of these issues.

The Walney Offshore Windfarm

The Walney Offshore Windfarm project is located approximately 15km west of Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. The project consists of Walney 1 and Walney 2 each with 51 – 3.6MW turbines, giving a total capacity of the Walney project of 367.2MW. The rotor diameter of the turbines is 107m for Walney 1 and 120m for Walney 2, with a maximum height of 150m from blade tip to sea level. The total area of the development is some 73km2.


Source: dongenergy, June 21, 2011