In June 2016, the construction of the Blyth Demonstration Wind Farm, the first park using gravity based foundations (GBFs) and the 66kV standard for the electrical infrastructure, began in northeastern England.
The construction of the Blyth offshore wind farm demonstrator, developed by EDF Energy Renewables, the 50-50 joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy started in June 2016. The park final location is 5.7 km off Northumberland County, in the north-east of England.
The wind farm will have the following characteristics:
- Maximum capacity of 99.9 MW
- 15 MHI Vestas V164 8 MW wind turbines, optimized to provide a maximum power of 8.3 MW
- 15,000-tonne gravity based foundations (once installed)
- 11 km of 66 kV underground cables connecting the wind turbines to the coast, and 1.5 km of additional terrestrial cables to connect wind farm to the substation
- Cathodic anti-corrosion protection system by sacrificial anodes
- life duration of 26 years
This project is innovative as it uses state-of-the-art technologies : gravity based foundations (GBFs), 66kV standard for the electrical infracstructure, and the latest-generation wind turbines.
The design, manufacture and installation of the five gravity based foundations (GBFs) were entrusted to Royal BAM in June 2016. The foundations are innovative because they are made up of a reinforced concrete foundation combined with a steel monopile. This technology allows the installation of the wind turbine to a depth up to 45 meters.
The installation is based on a unique self-installation method based on a “float and submerge” method developed by the Royal BAM group. This technology also eliminates noise caused by hammering.
Moreover, the imprisonment of the monopile in the concrete caisson makes it impossible to inspect the monopile underwater and impose the upstream installation of a reliable corrosion protection system. In the case of Blyth, a sacrificial anode system was developed by Elsyca to prevent internal and external corrosion.
The transition pieces were welded to the gravity foundations at the Neptune Dry Wharf in Newcastle.
Ground work on the first 41.5 MW step, consisting of five wind turbines, began with the construction of the first gravity based foundation at the Neptune site in Newcatle.
Between July and August 2017
The five foundations left Newcastle and were delivered and on the final site after a journey along the Tyne River. They were then immersed on a gravel bed on site after being filled with a mixture of sand and water.
The first wind turbine in Blyth Park was installed on the final site. The wiring phase is currently underway. This installation is carried out by VBMS. Power generation should start at the end of the year.
EDF Group officially opened the 41.5MW Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm on Friday, 22 June.
The wind farm comprises five MHI Vestas 8.3MW wind turbines
The wind farm will supply around 34,000 British households with electricity.