World’s largest offshore wind farm

By Chris Sleight14 May 2008

A Fluor joint venture has won the contract to design and build the world's largest wind farm. The 500 MW facility will be built 25 km off the UK's Suffolk coast at a cost of UK£ 900 million (€ 1,13 billion). According to Fluor will generate enough electricity for 415000 homes.

Fluor is working on the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm in a 50:50 joint venture with renewable energy developer Airtricity. The company is owned by client Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), following a UK£ 40 million (€ 50 million) acquisition in February.

The wind farm development will comprise 140 turbines, each rated at 3,6 MW. They will be supplied by Siemens under a separate contract with SSE, and Flour will be responsible for mounting them on steel pylons in water depths between 24 m and 34 m. The scheme also includes the construction of an onshore substation near Sizewell, UK, as well as three 132 kV sub-sea transmission lines.

Offshore construction work is scheduled to start next summer. The wind farm will be commissioned in two phases, with final completion due in 2011.

Commenting on the project, the UK's minister for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, John Hutton said, " The investment in Greater Gabbard is very welcome and a prime example of the increasing number of renewable projects that are now taking place across the UK. The massive potential of the UK shoreline coupled with the right market conditions mean the UK is one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in offshore technology."

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