Construction of the Gwynt y Mor Offshore wind farm is underway with the last of the turbine foundations now in place. At a cost of more than £2 billion, the 160 turbine wind farm represents the largest construction project in Europe. When it is completed and commissioned the project will have the capacity to produce 576 MW of electricity.
Each of the Siemens SWT-3.6-107 turbines has a 3.6MW rating. They are supported by monopile foundations and each has a diameter of 5 meters and the outer casing is made from steel. they range in length from 50m to 70m in length.
The first power generated from the wind farm was in August 2013 and this was exported to a substation at St Asaph.
When the wind farm is fully commissioned it will be capable of supplying enough electricity to power around 400,000 homes. This roughly equates to a third of the number of households in Wales. It will produce 1,950GWh of clean energy per annum.
The wind farm is sited around 14km off the North Wales coast in Liverpool Bay in the Irish Sea and covers an area of around 79 square kilometres. The depths of the water range from 15m to 30m.
Image: RWE Innogy (click to enlarge)
The project will also consist of two offshore substations which will connect to the turbines through 33kV array cables. These substations will transform the energy from 33kV up to 132kV for transmission to a new onshore substation at St Asaph. This substation will also be built by Siemens.
By April 2014 the foundations of all 160 turbines were completed. The turbine foundations are monopole and transition pieces with the first being installed back in August 2012.
A new long term operations and maintenance complex for the wind farm that will house more than 100 staff is being constructed at the Port of Mostyn, North Wales. This facility will be the base for engineering, technician, management and administrative services throughout the operational lifetime of the wind farm.
Construction of the operations complex is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014 which will coincide with the planned completion of the construction of the wind farm.