MPI Offshore’s jack-up vessel MPI Discovery installed the first of 116 3.45MW MHI Vestas wind turbines at the 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm off Sussex in the early morning hours of Friday, 10 March.
The installations are set to continue throughout 2017.
MPI Discovery is transporting the components for eight turbines in each trip from Esbjerg in Denmark to the Rampion site, off the Sussex coast. Weather dependent, each turbine will take around 24 hours to install from initial positioning at each turbine location and jacking of the vessel.
During spring, offshore cabling work will continue at the site. An elevated excavator will be working from Lancing Beach over an estimated eight week period, to backfill the cable duct trenches that were dug along the seabed last year, for the cable installation. The vehicle will work in calm conditions around the changing tide at a water depth of up to three meters.
The offshore substation that transforms the electricity up to 150 kilovolts before transporting it to shore, is also due to be lifted into position on its foundation later in the spring.
Onshore construction of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base at Newhaven Port will commence in March. The O&M base will include offices and warehousing and will employ up to 60 full time, permanent staff and store spare parts and tools to support the maintenance of the turbines.
The wind farm is being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge.
The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018.