The first monopile foundation at Kentish Flats Extension was installed yesterday morning.
GeoSea’s offshore wind installation vessel Neptune, carrying two foundations, arrived on site on Friday afternoon, while the construction kicked off later that evening.
“This is a great start to the project and puts us nicely on schedule which is a good sign for the rest of the development,” said Vattenfall, the wind farm developer.
Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Business Area Wind, said: “Vattenfall is committed to growing its offshore wind capacity in Europe’s northern seas. Dan Tysk is now fully operational, we have started building Kentish Flats Extension and shortly another German scheme Sandbank will get going. More will follow, including the Danish Horns Rev 3, as Vattenfall’s healthy wind energy pipeline drives growth in the production of sustainable energy.”
Matthew Green, Vattenfall’s Project Director for Kentish Flats Extension, said: “A number of large vessels will be offshore Herne Bay and Whitstable this summer as we add 15 turbines to the existing 30 at Kentish Flats. We hope local people will be able to follow the construction and take a great interest in what is a challenging and complex engineering exercise. It doesn’t get much tougher than this: piling foundations 30 metres into the seabed; installing 139.6 metre tall turbines weighing 600 tonnes over 8km off the coast; and, completing on schedule and to budget with, most importantly, maximum emphasis on safety.”
The company believes the work will last for a few weeks depending on the weather conditions.
“Some noise will be heard from shore, but we plan to work long hours to get the job done as quickly as possible.”
When completed, Kentish Flats Extension will have a total capacity of 49.5MW capable of powering around 35,000 households.