Race Bank Switches On

Ørsted and its project partners, Macquarie and Sumitomo, officially opened the 573MW Race Bank offshore wind farm on 13 June at a ceremony in Grimsby, UK.

Source: Ørsted

The launch of Race Bank boosted Ørsted’s operational offshore wind capacity in the UK to 3,047MW, adding to the combined capacity of 2,474MW that the company’s nine operational wind farms in the country produce.

Located offshore North Norfolk, the Race Bank wind farm comprises 91 6MW Siemens Gamesa turbines, installed by the vessel Sea Installer at the end of last year.

Ørsted collaborated with a number of UK suppliers on the project, including J Murphy, working on the onshore substation and onshore export cable installation, as well as JDR, who delivered the inter-array cables, which were installed by DeepOcean. Jan De Nul installed the export cables supplied by NKT.

Engie Fabricom and Iemants supplied two offshore substations, with Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) installing the first one in August 2016 and the second in March 2017.

“Race Bank is a fantastic infrastructure project and underlines Ørsted’s contribution to the UK’s energy transition. It’s also another clear signal of our firm commitment to Grimsby and the Humber, and the UK supply chain for offshore wind,” Matthew Wright, Managing Director at Ørsted UK, said.

“Race Bank is a hugely significant and innovative project, featuring the first ever turbine blades to be made in Hull and becoming our first wind farm in the UK to be operated using a new Service Operation Vessel. It’s also one of the fastest projects we have ever built, with a fantastic safety record, and this is testament to the hard work of the project team and the great relationship we have with our partners.”

The Race Bank wind farm is operated from Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby, while offshore maintenance is being carried out from the Edda Passat service operations vessel (SOV) that remains offshore with technicians working shifts of 14 days on and 14 days off.

The project is owned by Ørsted (50%), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25%), Sumitomo Corporation (12.5%) and funds advised by the Green Investment Group, Arjun Infrastructure Partners and Gravis Capital Management (12.5%).

Photo: Source: Ørsted