UK utility SSE claims that the foundations supporting 52 turbines at the Greater Gabbard wind farm are defective.

The project off the eastern English coast is being built by Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd (GGOWL), in which SSE has a 50% stake.

In its half-year results statement released yesterday, SSE reveals that it is in dispute with Fluor, the main contractor for the 500 MW, 140-turbine development.

The report states that last month GGOWL notified Fluor that “all 52 of the relevant foundations are defective and do not meet the standard required by the contract between the two companies”.

Fluor counters that it has already spent GBP300m worth of time and costs in carrying out additional tests and repairs to welds on the foundations, but while SSE accepts that previous repairs to a number of lower foundations, known as monopiles, are “sound, the balance of the monopiles and all 52 of the transition pieces [upper foundations] are believed to be defective”.

SSE states in its report that it “hopes that Fluor will comply with its obligations in a satisfactory way but if necessary GGOWL will protect its contractual rights by issuing a formal counter claim”.

In its half year results, generation and supply operating profits was down 71 per cent to GBP58.8m, while energy networks’ operating profits was up 9.5 per cent to GBP320.4m.