All turbines in Walney 2 have had first power
On 6 April 2012, the last of the 51 turbines in Walney 2 exported its first power to the grid, and a big milestone in the project was reached.
Senior Project Manager:
102 turbines are now producing clean, renewable energy for the UK without any CO2 emission. The production from the Walney Offshore Windfarms can cover the power consumption of approximately 320,000 UK households.
Power for 320,000 UK households.
However, tests and minor corrections will still be performed in the wind farm during the next weeks, but soon the Barrow-in-Furness-based operation and maintenance team will take fully over.
The Walney operation and maintenance team
Head of Operations, Graham Ingham.
Another Assistant Operations Manager will be joining the team in the near future, and newly appointed High Voltage Manager Bryan Rhodes joined the company in March 2012. Steve Lauderdale is our High Voltage Engineer, Kurt Gilmour is our Warehouse Keeper with Janet Gilmour and Carole Cubin as Site Assistants.
Operating for the next 25 years
The joint DONG Energy and Siemens team will perform the operation and maintenance of the turbines for the next 25 years, and when all the turbines for Walney 2 have been handed over from Construction to Operations later this year, there will be 102 turbines in total. The dialogue has started regarding the Walney 2 asset transfer from Construction, and we are ready, eager and enthusiastic about receiving the remaining assets.
Technicians preparing to go offshore.
There are 23 DONG Energy technicians, ie 10 electrical and 13 mechanical engineers, who will be occupying the new facility along with an identical number of Siemens personnel at the end of April. With the entire Walney team being comprised of local people, we feel that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our company and the local community to maintain all our assets to the best of our ability for the next 25 years and beyond.
Onshore offices and warehouse at Ramsden Dock
We have taken individual ownership of both our onshore and offshore facilities, and we are all grateful for the opportunity to work in such a professional and dynamic environment. Our onshore offices and warehouse are a world-class working environment which will help to us to achieve our targets in the coming years.
The new onshore offices at Ramsden Dock.
The new facility is situated on Ramsey Way in the Ramsden Dock basin. The new pontoon, which is coupled with two new quayside cranes, is integrated into our facility, making access to the vessels extremely quick and easy.
Fully equipped warehouse facilities.
The warehouse facilities are fully equipped with workshops, temperature-controlled storage environments, briefing rooms and an archive facility. All the necessary tools and equipment for the technicians’ daily work are stored here within easy access of the quayside.
A day in the life of a wind turbine technician
For a wind turbine technician at the Walney Offshore Windfarms, the day usually means reporting to site at 06:00 for a prompt sail at 07:00. The day is action-packed from start to finish commencing with collecting the tools, equipment and spare parts before taking a one-hour vessel journey to the wind turbines while planning the day’s tasks.
Necessary tools are stored within easy access of the quayside.
The technicians are transferred to their destination by the catamaran ‘Wind Transfer’, which is the latest of the new arrivals to the Walney fleet. The vessel is packed with all the state-of-the-art technology and equipment. The wind turbine to be serviced by the technicians is located by the captain via GPS, while the technicians discuss possible technical issues and health and safety.
‘Wind Transfer’ at quayside in Barrow.
For transfer onto the turbine, the technicians must among other things wear a survival suit, safety harness, life jacket and helmet. The technicians must climb an approximately 15-metre high ladder before accessing the wind turbine and taking control of the machine. Once access has been gained, the day's tasks can begin, usually fault finding. The faults could be hydraulic, mechanical or electrical issues, so the technicians’ knowledge and understanding of the wind turbine is always being challenged.
The technical team consists of minimum two persons, but can be as many as six persons. A technician’s background can vary from the nuclear industry, armed forces to manufacturing and process, either with a mechanical or an electrical discipline. It is usually organised so that the teams are split up into dual-discipline teams to allow them to cover a wider variety of tasks, all working in unison to return the wind turbine to full working order.
The nacelle is situated some 80 metres above the sea.
The wind turbine is approximately 80 metres above sea level and has a rotor diameter of 120 metres, so the technicians must be capable of working at heights.
The nacelle (the main body at the head of the wind turbine) is large, but with six working technicians and a 36-tonne gearbox and a 12-tonne generator to work around, space is limited! The work is carried out according to approved working practices, and safety is always our first priority, particularly when working within confined spaces.
Safety is always our first priority.
Again, the technicians must wear all relevant personal protective equipment (which can be restricting). All the technicians look after one another and enjoy a strong working relationship; after all, they spend 12 hours a day together!
A rare calm idyllic sunset.
On completion of the daily work, the wind turbine is put back into operation. All equipment is returned to the vessel, and the technicians move on to the next wind turbine or head back to shore to complete their paperwork, fault reports and service manuals before heading home.
Job done at the onshore construction site
The onshore activities at the construction site have come to an end. The construction site at Cavendish Dock Road is now manning down and preparing to hand over the site to the next offshore project, the West of Duddon Sands Offshore Wind Farm, which will take over the existing construction site by July 2012.
The West of Duddon Offshore Wind Farm is a 389MW wind farm placed just south of the Walney Offshore Windfarms. The project is realised in a joint venture between DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables.
Further information: www.westofduddonsands.co.uk
Energy for Life – Walney Fun Run 2012
All 102 wind turbines in the Walney Offshore Windfarms are now in operation.
To celebrate the completion of Walney 2 and following the success of last year’s Energy For Life – Walney Fun Run, the Walney Offshore Windfarms are proud to announce that this year’s event will take place on Sunday 17 June 2012 in partnership with the North-West Evening Mail, Barrow Borough Council, Friends of Walney and Barrow Borough Sports Council.
In 2011, each runner ran 100 metres per installed wind turbine in Walney 1. This year, this will mean 10.2km.
The venue for the Energy for Life – Walney Fun Run will be the Walney shore located nearest to the wind farm, and this year, you will have the chance of taking part in the 5.1km or the 10.2km fun run, each 100 metres symbolising one of the 102 wind turbines in the entire wind farm.
Register online at www.sientries.co.uk or www.nwemail.co.uk.
The final newsletter
During the last two years, the Walney Offshore Windfarms have constructed the world’s largest offshore wind farm just outside Barrow-in-Furness in the Irish Sea. During the construction, this newsletter has followed the challenges and the progress of the project.
As the construction activities have been completed, this will be the last issue of the Walney newsletter.