Half of Gwynt y Môr Generating Power
More than half of the 160 turbines at RWE Innogy UK’s flagship offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Môr, off the North Wales coast, have been commissioned and are generating electricity.
The milestone was reached last week with the 81st turbine connected to the National Grid. Construction of the world’s second largest offshore wind farm will be completed later this year with final commissioning expected over the winter months.
Gwynt y Môr is a greater than £2billion offshore wind farm and will be capable of generating enough energy from renewable sources to power the equivalent of approximately 400,000 homes – around a third of the total number of homes in all of Wales. It comprises 160 Siemens 3.6 megawatt (MW) turbines, two offshore substations, 161 inter-array cables, four export cables, an 11km onshore underground cable route and a new 132kV/400kV onshore substation near St Asaph in North Wales.
RWE Innogy UK’s Gwynt y Môr Project Director, Toby Edmonds said: “Commissioning half of the wind farm is another important milestone for the project. Gwynt y Môr is already the largest producer of renewable energy in Wales, with generating capacity regularly exceeding the combined output of RWE’s existing Liverpool Bay wind farms, Rhyl Flats and North Hoyle.
“We are looking to complete the construction of Gwynt y Môr later this year with array cable installation coming to an end. We hope to have all 160 turbines commissioned this side of Christmas but with the impact that the winter weather can have on our programme, it may be the early part of 2015 before the wind farm is fully operational.”
Department of Energy & Climate Change Energy Minister Matt Hancock, added: “This is a positive step forward for the industry and shows that investing in offshore wind pays off. Home-grown energy sources will strengthen our energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and protect us from volatility in energy markets abroad.”
The construction of Gwynt y Môr to date, has enabled the injection of over £660million into the UK supply chain, created and secured employment for nearly 2,500 people in the UK, and is expected to sustain over 100 jobs long term through a new multi-million pound operations and maintenance base, which is being built at the Port of Mostyn.
A community fund of £768,000 per year, index linked to inflation, will become available once Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is fully operational. A tender process is underway to identify an appropriate administrator for the fund and the first full payment is expected in 2015. The community fund is in addition to a £690,000 Tourism Fund, which has supported five projects in North Wales throughout the construction of Gwynt y Môr.
Press release, September 03, 2014; Image: RWE