Scottish Power installs first two of 102 off-shore wind farm platforms in N. Sea field – but laments dearth of investment in on-shore wind

Scottish Power has successfully installed the first two jacket foundations for its East Anglia-1 offshore windfarm in the Southern North Sea.

More than 100 such wind-turbine platforms will be installed some 30 miles offshore.

Using the purpose-built Bokalift 1 vessel (pictured above) the contractors successfully lifted the 840 tonne steel structures into place.

The platforms are 65 metres tall, and will eventually support the tower, blades and nacelle of the wind turbine.

Project director Charlie Jordan, said: “It’s a hugely impressive feat of engineering to lift nearly 900 tonnes of steel and place it with pinpoint precision in the North Sea.

“This is one of the largest offshore windfarms ever to be built and good progress is being made in all areas. As well as the activity offshore, our onshore substation and underground cable route is also taking shape.”

The first turbines are due to be installed in 2019 and the project is scheduled to be fully operational by Summer 2020.

Meanwhile, in the last two years Scottish Power invested £650 million to build eight new onshore wind projects, all in Scotland.

But as it stands there is no route to market for building new onshore wind projects. There are contracts available for nuclear, diesel generators and batteries – but not for onshore wind.

Renewables spokesman Lindsay McQuade said: “Yet six months after we completed the last of our eight projects, the onshore wind industry has all but ground to a halt. New investment has dried-up.

“Partly the industry itself is to blame for the position we are in. We have not been good enough at managing and responding to misconceptions, and we have allowed ourselves to become politically unpopular in some quarters.

“Onshore wind is now the cheapest of all forms of new power generation in the UK. We are hard to match when it comes to benefits for the environment, the economy and consumers.

“But to deliver the benefits, we need a level playing field, we need the opportunity to compete for contracts like all other power generators.”

19 Jun 2018

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