UK's Sheringham Shoal goes offshore

By Richard High29 June 2010

The first foundation of the UK's Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm has now been installed, off the Norfolk coast by the heavy lift vessel Svanen.

Over the next nine months, Svanen will install the remaining 89 foundations ready for the mounting of two substations and 88 wind turbines.

The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is scheduled to start operations in 2011 and will provide enough electricity to power 220000 homes.

Substantial dimensions

The monopile foundation consists of a tubular steel monopile, driven 32 to 36 m into the seabed, and weighing from 400 to 600 tonnes.

A transition piece is fitted to the top, forming the support for the turbine tower itself. Each piece is 22 m high and weighs about 200 tonnes.

Rapid progress

Commenting on the start of construction, project director Rune Rønvik said, "The licence for the wind farm site was granted in 2004 and so it's a great achievement to now be at the stage where we are starting a continuous process to install the 90 required foundations," he said.

The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited.

Statoil is the operator for the project during the development phase. Scira will be the operator of the wind farm.

Sheringham Shoal - Fast facts

  • 315 MW of installed capacity
  • Located off the coast of Norfolk, England
  • Covers an area of approximately 35 km2
  • 88 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.6 MW, will supply clean energy equivalent to 220000 homes
  • Turbine blade length 52 m (170 ft)
  • Turbine tower height 80 m (262 ft)
  • Wind turbines are placed on foundations on the seabed
  • Two offshore substations
  • Two 132 kV marine cables to come ashore at Weybourne
  • 21.6 km underground cable will connect the wind farm to the National grid at a new substation
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