Visual impression of the comparative scale of the turbines against Blackpool Tower
Walney Offshore Windfarm (known as WOW), supplying green energy to the UK, is being built in the Irish Sea and part of it is being connected by a cable to shore at Cleveleys, which then goes underground to Thornton.
We’re all familiar at Thornton-Cleveleys with the Barrow Offshore Windfarm – with the graceful sails turning against some fantastic sunsets. They are to be joined in due course by another 102 turbines which will be known as Walney Offshore Windfarm. Located approx 15km west of Barrow-in-Furness the first one was installed on 12 July 2010 and the growing farm can just be seen on the distant horizon - to the left of the original windfarm.
The windfarm is being built in two phases - Walney 1 and Walney 2 - with 51 turbines in each phase, each one capable of generating 3.6MW of electricity and a staggering total of 367.2MW which would be enough to power 320,000 homes. The maximum height of the turbines is 150m from blade tip to sea level - 30m taller than the Barrow ones and only 8m (24’) shorter than Blackpool Tower!
In Spring 2011, a cable barge will dock offshore at Cleveleys to lay the power connection or ‘export cable’ which joins Walney 2 to land. It will be laid in one piece underwater by a plough attached to the barge which places the cable approx 2m deep into the seabed. It’s an armoured 132kv power cable, complete with a 48 core fibre optic cable which provides communication to the windfarm.
The cable comes ashore buried under the beach in front of Thornton Gate, and then continues underground on a route to Hillhouse Industrial Estate where a new sub-station is currently being built to transfer the power into the National Grid. The open cut installation of the cable is being done first, scheduled to start late summer 2010. The whole project will be documented through this portal where you’ll be able to follow weekly updates complete with photographs and information about what will be happening next.
For detailed information about the project go to The Walney Offshore Windfarm website where you can also find a short animation about how the windfarm is built.
DONG Energy (50.1%), Scottish & Southern Energy (25.1%) and a consortium of PGGM and Dutch Ampère Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management (24.8%) are the companies behind Walney (UK) Offshore Windfarms Limited.
DONG Energy is and will be the leading partner in the construction and operational phases of the Walney Offshore Windfarm.