Automation technology group ABB has won an order valued at US$30 million from wind power development company, DONG Energy to supply a high-voltage export cable system that will transmit power from the Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the UK.
ABB’s project scope includes the design, engineering, supply and commissioning of the 25km, 220 kV AC submarine cable and the related offshore substation cable. ABB will also supply 32km of AC underground cables and the associated substation cables as well as the cable joints, accessories and terminations related to the project.
The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm is situated on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay at the mouth of the Mersey river, approximately 6.4 km from the Sefton coastline and 7.2km from North Wirral. Burbo Bank receives the full force of the wind from the Irish Sea in the west, making it an ideal location for offshore wind power generation.
Burbo Bank Extension
The Burbo Bank Extension covers an area of 40 sq.km and has an estimated generating capacity of up to 258MW -enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 240,000 households. The proposed project would be located west of the operational Burbo Bank offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay.
“Offshore wind is making an increasing contribution to boost the share of renewables in Europe’s energy mix and this project will support the UK government’s efforts in this area”, said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB has considerable experience in executing such projects and the technologies to support the efficient integration of renewables into the grid."
Offshore wind development
The UK is home to the second largest offshore wind farm in the world. Generating enough clean electricity to power over half a million homes, Greater Gabbard, located off the coast of Suffolk in Southern England, has 140 turbines, and will double in size, following an extension due for completion in 2017.
In June, East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm was given the government’s permission to go ahead. The wind farm, expected to be one of the largest in the world, is expected to support thousands of jobs and bring over £520 million of investment into the UK’s economy. Once built it is predicted to be worth £10 million a year to the East Anglian economy. Based off the coast of Suffolk, East Anglia One covers an area of approximately 300 sq.km and is likely to include up to 240 wind turbines.
In July, consent was given for Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, a wind farm of between 100 and 175 turbines to be installed off the Sussex coast, creating hundreds of jobs.
Renewables development in the UK
The rapid series of developments coincides with record-breaking figures for UK renewable energy output, with 15% of electricity now being created from renewables across the UK and more than half of that comes from wind power.
In 2013, 14.9% of UK electricity generated from renewable sources and 53% of renewable electricity came from onshore and offshore wind. This is a 30% increase in renewable electricity last year when compared to 2012. The UK expects to double the amount of electricity generated from renewables from 15% to over 30% by 2020.
Wind energy is playing a major role in the country’s transition from fossil fuels to clean renewables. Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that offshore wind is the fastest rising renewable technology. Approximately 7.9% of the UK’s electricity was generated by onshore and offshore wind in 2013, with offshore wind generation increasing by 52%, and onshore wind generation increasing by 40%.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial in creating job and business opportunities, getting the best deal for customers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports.”