This is where you'll be able to find out all the other things that you want to know about the Walney Offshore Windfarm project!

We'll provide regular updates and information here about other aspects of the project.

 

For example, there will be news about what's happening with turbine installation at sea, what kind of wildlife surveys have taken place, how the cables are laid, how the Directional Drilling is done - and lots more!

 

Where the public have asked questions relating to the overall project, those questions and answers will also be posted here.

 

Keep calling back to see if anything new has been added!

 

 

Walney Newsletter 12 Published

The Walney Newsletter no. 12 - March 21, 2011 has just been published on the Website of the Walney project:

 

www.wowind.co.uk, click here for the direct link to the newsletter

 

 

Here you will be able to read about:

  • ·         Half-way video of the Walney project
  • ·         18 turbines commissioned
  • ·         Monopile installation for Walney 2 is about to commence
  • ·         Wind Transporter in operation in Barrow
  • ·         Fire onboard the Pompei
  • ·         Walney 2 onshore cable

 

 

Walney Newsletter 11 Published

The Walney Newsletter no. 11 - February 21, 2011 has just been published on the Website of the Walney project:

 

www.wowind.co.uk, click here for the direct link to the newsletter

 

Here you will be able to read about:

  • ·         Six turbines commissioned
  • ·         Array cable installation completed
  • ·         Test of new gangway system
  • ·         First operations for Walney 2 have begun
  • ·         Foundations for Walney 2
  • ·         Layout changes from Walney 1 to Walney 2
  • ·         Walney 2 onshore cable

 

 

Windmills Turning at Thornton!

 

Red Marsh Class One collage

Collage from Class One at Red Marsh School

 

Windmill collage by Ellen and Callum

Windmills made by Ellen and Callum at Red Marsh School

 

Windmill by Jordan Wilcock at Red Marsh

Jordan Wilcocks drawing of a windmill, Red Marsh School

 

Pupils at Great Arley and Red Marsh Schools were thrilled to secure prizes for their artwork entries into the Walney Offshore Windfarm art competition, with really creative work!

 

With construction works going on just next to their school gate and a windmill just round the corner, it’s a good time for the children to learn about how windfarms and windmills work, where renewable electricity comes from, why we need it and where it’s used in the home.

 

At Red Marsh School, Class One made a superb collage of the house that they live in and all the things that we use on a daily basis and are powered by electricity, learning lots while they painted and glued! Pupils in other classes made a picture of the windmills at sea from straws and beautiful blue paper, and Jordan Wilcock drew an old fashioned windmill, just like the nearby one that we see every day at Marsh Mill!

 

Brittany Jade Morris at Great Arley School stole the show with her superb, working wind-turbine. A truly impressive working model – although powered by battery and not by wind power - it is a really good demonstration of a modern turbine and a very good replica! It’s now on display in the school entrance for everyone to see. You can see a clip of her turbine in action at YouTube at this link.

 

Brittany Jade Morris and her turbine

Brittany Jade Morris from Great Arley School and her working turbine!

 

Offshore windfarms are one of the new generation of green energy providers that link into the National Grid and provide power to all our houses, computers, hairdryers and TVs. There are 102 turbines in the Walney Windfarm, which is just visible to the left of the Barrow Windfarm from the Fylde Coast. They are capable of generating enough electricity for 320,000 houses – which is a lot of games consoles!

 

Roadworks have been ongoing for several months through Thornton and Cleveleys to lay the cable which connects the new Walney Offshore Windfarm to land at Stanah, and the corner of Trunnah/Holly Road has been disrupted on several occasions. The project partners wanted to do something that both explained to people why the roadworks are necessary in bringing clean power to the north west, and which contributed to the local schools.

 

Individual prizes of family tickets were very kindly donated by Farmer Parrs. As the efforts from both schools were so impressive, the £250 cash prize was split equally and a cheque presented to both Red Marsh and Great Arley School.

 

 

Person Required to Report on Intertidal Works at Cleveleys

Walney Offshore Windfarms require an enthusiastic and motivated person to record the works to complete the interface between the offshore and onshore cables at the promenade at Cleveleys, and who would be available to start on site straight away working predominantly at Hillhouse Industrial Estate. You don't have to be a qualified engineer, however it will require a person with a good level of common sense and logic. If that's you, send your details to jane@visitCleveleys.co.uk. Interviews will be held on Sunday 30 January 2011 at Hillhouse, so do it straight away!

 

Skills

  • Basic understanding of civil engineering works
  • Basic understanding of tides and beaches
  • High level of common sense and practicality
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluent in English
  • Computer Literate
  • Flexible Approach

Requirements

  • Reside close to the area of works
  • Own transport
  • Own Laptop
  • Own digital camera

Needed to start to help the Onshore Cable Installation Manager ASAP. 5 days a week. 8 till 5 basis.

 

During the Intertidal works, availability required 7 days a week, daylight working hours. On site as and when required.

Suit a young person looking for a way into the renewable business.

Excellent rates of pay.

 

 

Walney Newsletter 10 Published

 

Walney 1 turbines

 

Walney Newsletter no. 10 was published on January 20, 2011 on the Website of the Walney project, at this link

 

Here you will be able to read about:

  • ·         First power from Walney 1
  • ·         The first start of C05
  • ·         Series of test procedures
  • ·         All 51 turbines in Walney 1 installed
  • ·         Offshore cabling is in the finalising phase
  • ·         Preparing for Walney 2 in Barrow Harbour
  • ·         Onshore cabling for Walney 2

 

 

Create a Windmill Competition

 

Windmill competition poster

Create a Windmill competition launched

 

The intersection where Trunnah Road meets Fleetwood Road North was always going to be a challenging aspect of this project to install the cable from the windfarm in the Irish Sea to the new substation at Hillhouse Industrial Estate at Stanah.

 

As anyone local will already know, it's an exceptionally busy junction at the best of times, without the interruption of excavation and associated works right across the middle of the road!

 

The traffic issues are compounded by there being four schools on this busy corner, along with Redmarsh Industrial Estate, so the project partners thought it would be a nice gesture to run a project which would involve the school children and help them to understand why work like this is very necessary to the security of energy supply in the UK.

 

The Fylde Coast has had it's share of traditional windmills over the years, and there are still a few dotted around and about. This project ties history with technology and provides the opportunity to show the children of today how our modern utility services relate to those of the past.

 

The competition is open to the four schools on the corner of Trunnah/Fleetwood Rd North, and all the details are on the poster. (Download a Pdf file here if you would like to print one out). Prizes will be awarded to the individual winners and a cash prize to the school from which the overall winner is drawn.

 

Entries can be anything craft based - models, paintings, pictures, anything goes as long as it is craft based, and no computer generated work will be allowed.

 

Winners announced before February half term.

 

Good Luck!

 

 

 

Walney Newsletter 9 published

 

Walney turbine

The Walney Newsletter no. 9 - December 20, 2010 has just been published on the Website of the Walney project:

 

www.wowind.co.uk

 

Where you can read about:

  • PGGM and Ampère Equity Fund buy minority stake from DONG Energy in Walney Offshore Windfarm
  • Favorable weather conditions for installation of turbines and array cables
  • Test of new gangway system
  • O&M building under construction in Barrow
  • ”I name you Wind Transporter”
  • Activity on the harbour in Barrow
  • Walney 2 onshore cable
  • Christmas and New Year 2010

 

 

 

Progress update on Walney Onshore Substation,

currently being constructed at Hillhouse Industrial Estate

updated 15 December 2010

The new Stanah 132kv onshore substation currently being constructed at the southern end of Hillhouse Industrial Estate is part of the Walney (UK) Offshore Windfarms project to allow interconnection to the national grid, and generating a total design capacity of 183.6 MW.  

 

The onshore substation will include the precast concrete piles to support concrete foundations for the Control building with gas insulated switchgear, variable shunt reactor with acoustic enclosure and harmonic filter including associated HV cabling and drainage and utility services.  

 

The initial stages of excavation and piling construction been completed and the concrete foundation for all the structures are currently on going.

 

Walney substation construction

above: the excavation and preparation of piling mat platform.  

 

Walney substation construction

above - the completion of piling mat prior to piling operation.  

 

walney substation

above - the construction of precast concrete  piling operation .  

 

walney substation piling completed

above - piling after completion

 

walney substation pile muncher

above - the pile breaker machine engaged in breaking piles on site.  

 

walney substation

above - the excavation of GIS foundation being completed and blinded.  

 

walney substation

above - the concrete operation to Building control foundation (also proving we did get some snow!)

 

walney substation

above - the excavation and concrete blinding to formation of Shunt reactor.  

 

 

Walney Newsletter 8 published

The Walney Newsletter no. 8 - November 19, 2010 has just been published on the Website of the Walney project:

 

www.wowind.co.uk

  • Operation and maintenance organisation (O&M) is materialising
  • Operation and maintenance will comprise approx 60 people
  • Onshore substation in Heysham now online with National Grid
  • 28 Wind turbines and 11 array cables installed
  • Final splicing of the export cable
  • Radar observations of bird migration
  • Walney 2 onshore cable

 

 

Trench reinstatement protocol

 

trench being reinstated

A number of questions have been asked by residents in recent weeks regarding the discrepancies in trench reinstatement on local roads, and the protocol which is being followed in this project.

 

One question was why the edges of the reinstatement haven't been sealed.

 

It is an LCC requirement that the edges of the reinstatement aren't sealed, because sealing the edges reduces traction and creates a slip hazard. The foam concrete base layer (visible in the photo, left) provides a superior reinstatement and almost eliminates voids and thus the opportunity for water ingresss, which reduces the opportunity for freezing and expansion which couldlift the tarmac layer, and which negates the need for sealing the edges. It also protects against future subsidence and dropping of the reinstatement over the long term. There are very few other reinstatements in the area which have been carried out to the same high specification.

 

Throughout the route the tarmac used complies with New Roads & Street Works Act (NWRSA) specifications,although where it is newly laid it can look quite different to the existing road surface until it becomes soiled and visually blends in.

 

On the Thornton side of West Drive, prior to this excavation work, the road had been recently resurfaced, so under HAUCS specification a full half carriageway resurface has to be carried out to a schedule determined by LCC. Binding layer tarmac has been used prior to this being done, when the whole surface will be planed off and resurfaced in one.

 

The team have a good and close working relationship with LCC Highways who are on site every few days, and monitoring that their specifications and requests are being followed.

 

 

How the cable route was originally determined

One resident has asked, and probably others have wondered, how the route of the cable was originally decided.

 

In the first place, the National Grid determine where the connection can be made, which in this case is at Stanah. The turbines are in the Irish Sea, giving point A and B which need to be joined. The route which is being followed was chosen because it had been evaluated as the shortest and most optimium route from an engineering point of view, and the aim has been to stay in the publicly adopted highway all the way to create as little inconvenience to the general public as possible. It is a challenging route due to it being a residential area with many existing utilities in the roads.

 

The process of deciding the route involves the participation of many different stakeholders like the Environment Agency where the route crosses the beach, the local authority – in this case both Lancashire County Council and Wyre Borough Council, various landowners of privately owned areas. All the different parties are informed and consulted and relevant permissions and licenses have to be arranged to cross each different section of land. A process of public consultation is under taken for projects of this nature along with a public hearing which was held about the route before planning permission was granted back in 2008.

 

Planning permission 07/01032/FUL for onshore substation and onshore cable route was submitted to Wyre BC on 06.09.2007 and granted on 14.02.2008. This permission had 5 conditions, all of which have been discharged. Although condition 5 (substation surface water discharge) is currently being amended.

 

Some addition notes regarding why the cable route was chosen:

 

  1. Cable is in the existing highway for entire route.
  2. No significant impact on vegetation or habitat.
  3. No impact on biological environment during normal operation of cable.
  4. Cable route is compliant with development plan policies in relation to nature conservation.
  5. Cable route is compliant with development plan policies in relation to cultural heritage and archaeology.

 

 

Walney Newsletter 7 published

 

The latest newsletter was published on the Walney website on 19 October. Use this link where you can read about:

  • The export cable has been laid
  • Splicing of the cable cut
  • Export cable installed on the offshore transformer substation
  • Extensive test before the power can be switched on
  • First cable pull at the offshore substation
  • Increased installation activity
  • Armour stones for scour protection
  • Offshore substation for Walney 2 under construction
  • Walney 2 onshore cabling work and substation construction

 

 

Protocol in the event of a Service Strike

As a utility contractor, Balfour Beatty always aim for 100% avoidance of any utilities which lie in roads where they are working.

 

Before road works start the route is always surveyed to establish where main services lie, and then trial holes are dug to prove that the survey is correct, and then installation work can continue.

 

However, this isn't always a 100% accurate way or proving where services are, and particularly in residential areas individual services into houses are often found once excavation starts. In this instance, the ground would be dug out by hand to make sure that services aren't struck and supply interrupted.

 

A few weeks ago a power supply was unfortunately interrupted- an issue which is taken extremely seriously by Balfour Beatty with an investigation escalated right through their management chain to establish the reason and put systems in place to learn from the mistake and prevent it from happening again.

 

 

Getting power into the Grid

The 102 turbines of the Walney Offshore Windfarm generate electricity at 33Kv and this is stepped up in the offshore sub station way out in the Irish Sea to 132Kv, which is the voltage of our National Grid.

 

The electricity flows along its submarine and then land based cables to the onshore sub-station.

 

The National Grid itself determines where a new power supply like this can be added, and where the increase in electricity from a new supply can be joined in without an effect on the rest of the system. That’s why the electricity from the 51 turbines of Walney 1 comes into Heysham, and why the electricity from the second phase of Walney 2 has to come to Cleveleys – it’s all to do with load on the system.

 

In terms of the route that the cable takes from shore to sub-station, that in itself is detemined by all parties and landowners involved as a fundamental part of the planning and consultation process.

 

A new sub-station is being built at Hillhouse Industrial Estate to transfer the power into the Grid. It’s being built with current, state of the art technology as you would expect. It’s also a metal clad building, designed and built with elevated foundations to raise the equipment 1.5m off the floor to prevent against future risk of flooding.

 

The sub-station serves the purpose of filtering the electricity supply so that it is suitable to be fed into the National Grid, and it’s also a switch point where supply can be interrupted if need be. Beside the filter there is also a reactor which will compensate for the capacity of the long submarine cable (50 km in total). The reactor is like a big transformer and to prevent any noise impact on the public it will be housed in an acoustic enclosure which will attenuate the sound.

 

 

Safety of underground electrical cables

The process which any utility company goes through to operate a project like this is obviously very thorough and rigorous and the safety of both installers and the general public in the long term is of paramount importance.

 

The cables are threaded through a plastic duct in a close trefoil formation, and the ducts are bedded into sand which is thermally stable. A protection cover is laid above them and 200mm above that is a warning mesh so that anyone who comes along at a later date and digs a hole without first checking can't actually continue unaware of what lies beneath. The rest of the trench is backfilled according to local authority requirements to ensure that there is no later subsidence on the road surface.

 

The Walney cable is a 3 phase AC system, and because it is laid in trefoil formation (like a clover leaf) the magnetic field created by each of the phases is negated by each of the others to a very high degree. The spread of the magnetic field at the earth surface is therefore very limited because the arrangement of the cables is designed to pretty much cancel it out in the bottom of the trench - and the depth of material above it reduces the effect even further.

 

This is standard state-of-the-art technology which is used in all countries and cities, complying with all UK, European and international legislation and standards.

 

 

The seven parts of the route

The route that the cable installation follows is split into 7 sections, with each one being given a number, so that everyone can understand which piece of the project they are talking about!

 

Numbering starts at the Hillhouse end at the substation, working towards the sea. The ends of each section are also where two cables will be joined, so they fall just to the side of junctions to avoid having to do the jointing work at an inconvenient spot.

 

This is how they are numbered, to the nearest identifiable street:

 

Section 1:
Substation at Hillhouse going along South Road to Chequers Way

Section 2:
Chequers Way to Springbank Avenue

Section 3:
Springbank Avenue to Trunnah Gardens

Section 4:
Trunnah Gardens to just past Fairclough Road

Section 5:
Fairclough Road to Ingleway

Section 6:
Ingleway to Cleveleys Avenue

Section 7:
Cleveleys Avenue to the promenade at Thornton Gate

 

 

How the Onshore Cable is Laid

Preparatory works establish where other services are laid in the road, so that they can be avoided. A detection device is initially run across the road surface, and markings are added to give a broad indication of where existing surfaces lay (gas, electricity, water and telephones etc), and this gives guidance of where the clear areas are for new services to be installed.Trial holes are then dug to prove the clear area and establish the exact route.

 

The trench is dug with the standard mini diggers that you'll see at every set of roadworks, which cuts a neat trench in the road to the required depth and width. Plastic ducting pipe is laid in the bottom of the trench. When the duct is installed and completed along the length of the route the cable is pulled through from 'Joint Bays'. It's then joined, earthed and eventually connected to the offshore cable and able to deliver electricity into the national grid. The trench is backfilled as it is built, and the surface tarmaced over, flush to the existing road surface.  

 

Where Directional Drilling takes place under obstacles like the sea wall, a preliminary small drill creates a hole in a forwards direction, and then it drills the full diameter hole in reverse and pulls the duct pipe back through with it, so it's a self supporting hole with no risk of collapse.  

 

 

 

Offshore Turbine Installation

Walney Offshore Wind Turbine

 

The Walney Newsletter number 6 was published on 21 September 2010 on the website of the Walney project at this link:

 

www.wowind.co.uk

 

Here you can read about:

  • 13 complete turbines installed
  • Weather is king
  • Six to seven days' installation cycle
  • Average and real weather
  • Bird surveys
  • Future plans – testing of radar survey
  • Export cable
  • Onshore cable for Walney 1
  • Onshore cabling and substation construction for Walney 2
  • Walney 2

 

 

 
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Walney Offshore Windfarm