Offshore piling works have been completed on the Moray East wind farm in the Moray Firth off the North East coast of Scotland, the developers of the 950MW project said.
Work to install the pin-piles in the seabed commenced in May of last year, using DEME Offshore’s jack-up installation vessel Apollo which worked out of Cromarty Firth Ports Authority’s onshore handling facilities at Invergordon.
The Moray East offshore wind farm will consist of 100 MHI Vestas 9.5MW wind turbines and three offshore substation platforms.
It is being installed in deeper water than most existing UK wind farms, necessitating the use of three-legged jacket structures for each turbine and substation platform, the developers said.
Three pin-piles are thus required at the site of each turbine and substation platform, giving a total of 309.
“Although the piles are undersea, underground and unseen, they are the foundations on which the entire project’s success literally rests. The challenge of accurately driving 309 piles into the sea-bed, in water depths of ca. 50m, more than 20km from shore in Scottish weather conditions cannot be understated,” Project Director for Moray East, Marcel Sunier, said.
“The dynamics which make the Moray Firth a more challenging location for installation are the same dynamics which enable us to deliver high a volume of electricity at a record-low price. I look forward to the next stages of the project which will see the jackets and various turbine components begin to be marshalled at the local ports at Nigg and Invergordon prior to their installation as well as the installation of the three offshore substations, the inter array cables and the offshore export cable.”
The 950MW wind farm is being developed by Moray Offshore Windfarm East Ltd (MOWEL), which is a joint venture company owned by Diamond Green Limited (33.4%), EDPR (33.3 %), ENGIE (23.3%) and CTG (10%).
In September 2017, MOWEL was awarded a 15-year Contract for Difference (CfD) for the delivery of 950MW of offshore wind generation at GBP 57.5/MWh (2012 tariff-based). The wind farm is expected to be operational by 2022.