A giant 8MW offshore wind turbine in Liverpool Bay has delivered power to the grid for the first time, chalking up another important milestone for the UK’s offshore wind industry.
DONG Energy announced today that the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm – a joint venture 50 per cent owned by the Danish energy giant with 25 per cent stakes held by PKA and KIRKBI A/S – has exported its first power for the grid.
The milestone marks the first time the next generation 8MW turbines from manufacturer MHI Vestas have been used commercially offshore.
Supporters of the new generation of 8MW+ turbines, argue the giant machines will play a key role in pushing down the cost of offshore wind power through increased output and reduced running costs.
The turbines boast more than double the output of the 3.6MW turbines, which were deployed in 2007 at the initial Burbo Bank offshore wind farm.
“First power is a key milestone for us because it proves that every part of the transmission and generation equipment is successfully working,” said Claus Bøjle Møller, Burbo Bank Extension programme director. “We’re progressing well with the construction of the wind farm thanks to a huge effort from our construction team and our contractors.
“This milestone is also significant for the offshore wind industry at a broader scale. Using these bigger turbines is a major step in reducing the cost of energy from offshore wind and we are proud to once again introduce a step-change in technology.”
The companies now expect to bring more turbines online in the coming weeks. DONG Energy said all 32 of the project’s turbines are expected to be in place in the first quarter of 2017, delivering up to 258MW of capacity – enough to meet the annual electricity demands of approximately 230,000 UK homes.
When the project is complete the two wind farms in Liverpool Bay are expected to produce enough power each year for almost third of a million homes, over one and a half times the size of The Wirral.
DONG Energy said work is also underway on a multi-million pound state of the art operations and maintenance facility at King’s Wharf, Seacombe, which will to serve the two wind farms and create around 45 long term jobs.