Triton Knoll onshore construction officially started in Lincolnshire on Monday, 10 September, as the project commenced work on the electrical system to transport power from the 860MW offshore wind farm to UK homes.
The official ‘breaking-of-ground’ took place directly on the route of the new high voltage underground export cable, and located at the main onshore cable site offices (TCC12) off the A16 near Stickney.
The two-year onshore construction programme for the project is being managed by innogy, the majority equity shareholder of Triton Knoll (59%) on behalf of partners J-Power (25%) and Kansai Electric Power(16%).
UK firms J Murphy & Sons Ltd and Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd (STDL) have been contracted to build the project, and are already carrying out initial works including the establishment of site offices, temporary construction compounds and bell-mouths at key points along the route.
Onshore construction is said to present some significant engineering challenges as Triton Knoll installs over 57km of underground electrical export cable below ground in Lincolnshire. The route starts at the landfall location north of Anderby Creek, where the onshore and offshore cables connect. It runs to a new substation being constructed near Bicker, and then to the existing National Grid Bicker Fen Substation where the electricity from the offshore wind farm will ultimately connect into the grid.
Over 300 individual directional drills – a record for a UK infrastructure project – will ensure the onshore cables can be installed without obstructing any roads, highways, rivers or drains.
Work on the new onshore substation will start early in 2019, with Siemens constructing a new facility close to the existing electrical substation near Bicker. Work is already underway to construct a new bellmouth entry point and 3.8km access road to the new substation construction site to ensure that construction traffic can avoid use of smaller local roads.
Offshore construction is expected to start in late 2019, early 2020.
Triton Knoll has committed to delivering at least 50% UK content through the construction and operation of the wind farm. At its height, the project expects to see around 3,000 people working on both onshore and offshore phases of the project, with potentially up to 170 working long term in support of its Operations & Maintenance activities out of the Port of Grimsby.
Triton Knoll will comprise 90 MHI Vestas 9.5MW wind turbines which will be assembled at and installed from Able UK’s Seaton port. The wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational in 2022.