European offshore wind centre generates first power

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) has generated power for the first time.

On Sunday, power from the offshore wind farm in Scotland, which has been developed by Swedish energy group Vattenfall, was successfully exported to the UK’s National Grid from one of 11 turbines at the site.

The power was exported via the project’s 66 kV subsea cabling ” the first time that cabling of this capacity has been installed on a commercial offshore wind project in Scotland.

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s head of Business Area Wind, said: “Generating power from the EOWDC for the first time, secured by Europe’s technological leadership in offshore wind, gets us to a future free from fossil fuel faster. I look forward to full power later in the summer.”

Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall’s EOWDC project director, said: “We have overcome major engineering and technical challenges to achieve first power on the cutting edge EOWDC thanks to the collective expertise of Vattenfall, and our contractors MHI Vestas, Boskalis and Murphy. Our priority now is to fully commission the windfarm safely throughout the summer.”

He added: “First power from EOWDC reinforces North-east Scotland’s status as Europe’s energy capital and will help establish the region as an international centre for offshore wind generation.”

Jean Morrison, chair of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, said that “the timescale between the first installation and first power is remarkable”.

“The techniques and innovations developed at the EOWDC will be hugely significant for the industry and should help to reduce the future costs of offshore wind. As energy demand grows, we need to maximise the returns from our natural resources and offshore wind can help us do that.”

Scottish Government Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse called the first generation of power “a very significant milestone” for the 93 MW EOWDC.

“I congratulate the project team at Vattenfall for not only a successful installation but also their achievement in generating electricity from the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines which, with each rotation, will generate enough energy to power the average Scottish or UK home for 24 hours.

“Once the test and demonstration site is fully operational, not only will this help the offshore wind sector to further reduce its costs through lessons learned during operations, but the output from EOWDC will itself add significantly to Scotland’s renewable electricity generating capacity, building on figures announced last month that showed installed capacity reached a record 10.4GW in the first three months of 2018 and which also provisionally indicated that renewable sources met an equivalent of 69% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2017.”

Power from the turbines at the EOWDC is being exported through, two ‘strings’ of 4 km export cable with a capacity of 66 kV. Compared with conventional cabling of 33 kV, less inter-array cabling is required leading to reduced construction cost. Overall, just over 21 km of cabling has been installed from the EOWDC to its substation.

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