PGGM and Ampère Equity Fund buy minority stake from DONG Energy in Walney Offshore Windfarm
20 December 2010 - A consortium of PGGM and Dutch Ampère Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, have entered into an agreement with DONG Energy whereby the consortium acquires a 24.8% stake in the 367MW Walney Offshore Windfarm, which is under construction. DONG Energy will retain a 50.1% stake and SSE will retain the 25.1% stake it acquired from DONG Energy in December 2009.
Read DONG Energy press release.
Favorable weather conditions for installation of turbines and array cables
During the last three weeks, the weather conditions have been favourable for the installation activities. 42 turbines have been installed, and the installation vessel Sea Worker has helped during this period. Working out of the harbour in Mostyn, Sea Worker has roughly managed to install one turbine a week. With the current progress, the last turbine should be in position well before the end of January 2011.
The installation of the array cables has also benefited from the calm weather, and a total of 23 cable connections have been placed and pulled between turbines, apart from the six cables connecting directly to the offshore transformer substation. Laying of armour stones for scour protection has been completed at six positions – the seventh is ongoing.
Following intense work, the export cable and onshore substation were connected to and energised from the National Grid on Monday 6 December 2010, and after a successful commissioning week, the offshore platform was finally energised on Sunday 12 December 2010.
Test of new gangway system
During bad weather, the access to the wind turbine from small crew boats can be difficult, and very often impossible; this means that the crew is on standby until weather allows access. To reduce the standby time, a new flexible gangway fitted on a large stable vessel is being tested.
The gangway system, called Ampelmann, works according to the same principal as a flight simulator, but here it works the opposite, keeping the gangway stable during vessel movement. The first tests of the Ampelmann gangway system seem very promising. However, before the technology can be taken into routine operation, it needs to be thoroughly tested and to be evaluated from a risk assessment perspective.
O&M building under construction in Barrow
On Ramsden Dock Road in Barrow in Furness, the construction of the new operation and maintenance facilities for the Walney Offshore Windfarm commenced in December 2010 with expected completion due in the summer of 2011.
The site facilities will consist of two buildings; one being an office for administration, welfare and catering and the other being a warehouse/workshop for storage of spare and replacement parts and maintenance of the offshore wind farm. A new floating pontoon and crane installation is currently being constructed alongside the existing dock wall.
The new office building
The new two-storey office building is a shared facility for the O&M team and their sub-contractors. It is of similar size and proportions as the existing adjacent combined office and warehouse building which serves the Barrow Offshore Windfarm. The total internal floor area of the new office building is 1028m2. It is a steel portal framed building with insulated colour-coated steel modular cladding fitted horizontally with three large loading doors to the warehouse areas.
The ground floor includes a technician’s office, archive storage, locker rooms for male and female showering and changing, first aid, tea bar and plant room. The first floor consists of open-plan offices, small individual offices to be used by Marine Coordinator, boat crew, etc, reception, meeting rooms, kitchen and rest room. A projecting balcony off the rest room area overlooks the dockside and Walney Channel.
The total floor area of the warehouse building is 1162m2 and is split up into three separate areas with a floor area of 334m2, 332m2 and a smaller warehouse of 162m2. The warehouse building also includes a workshop, two drying rooms (for dry suits, etc), electrical equipment storage, oil storage, general storage rooms, briefing room, office and tea rooms.
”I name you Wind Transporter”
With these words, Eva Albér, the wife of Lars Albér, Site Manager of Walney Offshore Windfarm, named Walney Offshore Windfarm’s first service vessel while the champagne bottle shattered against the hull of DONG Energy's third and latest service vessel delivered from the Danish shipyard, Hvide Sande Skibs- og Baadebyggeri.
Two of the crew members came all the way from Barrow-in-Furness to Hvide Sande to take over the vessel, and they were both very pleased with the service vessel.
After the naming ceremony, Wind Transporter sailed to Esbjerg where it will be tested on the turbines at Horns Rev 2 offshore wind farm during the next couple of weeks. Subsequently, Wind Transporter will begin its long journey through the English Channel to the Irish Sea, and if the weather allows, Wind Transporter will just about make it home to Barrow before Christmas.
Activity on the harbour in Barrow
The turbines in Walney 2 will be placed on water depths between 25-30m. This will result in longer and heavier monopiles with a weight of up to 800 tonne In order to cope with these heavier monopoles, it has been necessary to reinforce some of the quay areas in Barrow. Part of the Ramsden Dock quayside, near the harbour mouth, has already been improved and an 18-acre area of docklands has been given a gravel surface.
The new work covers a part of the quayside between the harbour mouth and the nuclear ship terminal. The existing piles in the water in the dock will be strengthened, and a new reinforced loading platform will be built on the quay. The work has begun and will be ready in order to receive the first monopiles and transition pieces, which are planned to start arriving in February 2011.
The first filter stone to be used for the scour protection on Walney 2 is expected to arrive to the site in January 2011.
Walney 2 onshore cable
All major duct work for the onshore cable installation at Cleveleys near Blackpoolis has been completed on schedule and in time for the Christmas closedown. The first horizontal directional drill has been completed under the Blackpool tramway and reinstated. Some of the ropes are already installed to facilitate cable pulling in mid-January 2011. Meanwhile, the onshore substation is on track.
The foundations and piling work are completed with the first steelwork scheduled to be erected before Christmas.
Christmas and New Year 2010
During Christmas and New Year, all offshore installation activities will be ongoing. Some of the installation teams will reduce their activities, allowing their employees to celebrate either Christmas or New year together with their families and relatives. Onshore, the marine coordinator office will be manned as always, but more administrative and planning functions on site will be closed, if possible.
The Walney Offshore Windfarm
project team wishes all of you a
merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.