Onshore cabling to connect the Walney Offshore Windfarm to the national grid took place in phases. Here’s how it was done.
The High Voltage (HV) cable for the Walney Offshore Windfarm runs in the highway from landfall at Thornton Gate to the substation at Hillhouse Industrial Estate (former ICI).
The length of the onshore cable route is 5km, and it’s split into seven x 75m sections.
Onshore Cabling in an Open-Cut Trench
The majority of the cable was laid in an open-cut trench, approximately 800mm wide x 1.4m deep.
Seven, equally spaced larger excavations called Jointing Bays are where the lengths of cable were joined together.
Shelter over the top of one of the jointing bays
Joining two pieces of cable inside one of the jointing bay shelters
Four teams of workmen were on site to get the job done as quickly as possible. Each team working in a different area along the route.
The trenches were barriered off to keep them safe during the works. ‘Courtesy Boards’ were installed around the excavation with the contact details in the event that there were problems in your area.
All the trenches were filled with a concrete layer for strength and stability, with tarmac over the top to match the existing road surface.
Crossing Large Obstacles
There are some big obstacles in the path of the cable. For example the tram tracks and the railway line at Hillylaid in Thornton. Plus the culverts at Trunnah Road.
It wasn’t practical or possible to dig straight through some of them, so the cable was tunnelled underneath. It’s what’s called ‘Directional Drilling’ and you can see it in action in the photo below.
Route of the cable from shore to substation
Unfortunately, you can’t make an omelette without cracking an egg…. but disruption was kept to a minimum, and we kept you well informed!
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