ScottishPower Renewables has installed the first two jacket foundations for the £2.5bn East Anglia One offshore windfarm in the North Sea.
The windfarm is located 50km from the coast of Lowestoft in England and will comprise 102 Siemens turbines and foundations, each rated at 7 MW, which will give an overall capacity of up to 714 MW.
Main contractor Van Oord used a purpose-built vessel to lift the 840 tonne steel jacket foundations, which are 65 metres tall and will eventually support the tower, blades and nacelle of the wind turbines.
Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables Project Director for East Anglia ONE, said: “It is a hugely impressive feat of engineering to lift nearly 900 tonnes of steel and place it with pinpoint precision in to the North Sea.
“It is a significant milestone for the project. This is one of the largest offshore windfarms ever to be built and good progress is being made in all areas. As well as the activity offshore, our onshore substation and underground cable route is also taking shape.”
The first turbines are due to be installed in 2019 and the project is scheduled to be fully operational in 2020.
An offshore substation platform and foundations are being built to collect the electricity from the turbines, while two seabed export cables, each around 73 km in length, will transfer the electricity to shore.
A landfall site with onshore transition pits is needed to connect the offshore and onshore cables. Underground cables will be used to transfer the electricity and these will be laid to a new onshore converter station.