Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm

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Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is an offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. The nearest turbine will be a minimum distance of approximately 9 nautical miles (17 km) to the shore. The turbines will be supported by foundations secured to the sea bed. The wind farm will consist of 88 Siemens 3.6 MW wind turbines (model SWT-3.6-107), giving a total combined nameplate capacity of 317 MW. The wind farm will have a total area of approximately 14 sq mi (36 km2). The wind farm will generate about 1.1 TW·h per year, providing enough power for approximately 220,000 average UK homes, more than twice the equivalent electricity required to supply the whole of the North Norfolk coast. The wind farm will avoid about 500,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions compared to electricity generation from fossil fuels.

The first turbine was connected to the grid in August 2011.

Project overview

The United Kingdom has the largest shallow-water offshore wind resource in the world, and it has been estimated that the UK could provide over 33% of the total European potential for offshore wind energy. This is enough to power the country nearly three times over. Britain’s relatively shallow waters and strong winds extend far into the North Sea. The development of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is another step towards tapping this inexhaustible and natural resource.

The expected cost of the project is 10 billion Norwegian kroner (£1.1 bn, US$1.8 bn).

The schedule

All necessary planning permissions have now been received by the project so it is officially in the construction phase. Onshore these include planning permissions from Broadland and North Norfolk District Councils and grid agreements with EdFE and NGT. Offshore these include the Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate, Section 36 Consent from BERR and the Marine and Fisheries Agency license. Onshore work began in 2009 while offshore installation is scheduled to start in early 2010 with the installation of 90 foundations - 88 for the turbines and two for the offshore substations. Turbine installation will be during the 1st quarter of 2011 and the project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2011.

Export cable

In April 2008, cable company Nexans was awarded the cable supply contract by Statoil. The contract scope includes engineering, procurement and construction of two 22 km, 145 kilovolt (kV) XLPE submarine export cables, and a spare cable with associated equipment. An optical fibre cable will also be included.

Installation

The first foundations have been installed in 2010, consisting of 61m steel tubes weighing 531 tons - big enough that a British double-decker bus could drive inside the tube. The tube is towed to the site on a barge. The sea crane Svanen (contracted by MTHøjgaard and built to construct the Great Belt fixed link) raises one end of the tube, while the other end on the barge is fixed to a 135 ton giant roller skate with hydraulic motors compensating for wave oscillations which previously hampered operations. During the execution of the work the contract with MTHøjgaard was terminated by Statoil ASA and Statkraft AS. Seaway Heavy Lifting took over the contract and will install the remaining 66 monopile foundations and 71 transition pieces. Seaway Heavy Lifting will use their newbuild heavy lift vessel Oleg Strashnov for the job. The Oleg Strashnov will also install the two offshore substations at Sheringham Shoal. The new installation contracts will secure planned completion of the Sheringham Shoal project for full operation in early 2012.

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