Belfast Telegraph

Wind farm built at H&W on its way to power Wales

By Michael McHugh

A major 1,500-tonne wind farm substation leaves Northern Ireland and begins crossing the Irish Sea today on a journey that will see it help power almost a third of homes in Wales with green energy.

Today the latest milestone for the Welsh offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Mor, was achieved with the departure by sea from Belfast of the UK-engineered-and built Siemens offshore substation.

Destined for installation in Liverpool Bay, the platform was jointly designed, engineered and fabricated by Siemens in Manchester and Belfast shipbuilders Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd.

Sales manager at H&W, David McVeigh, said: “It is great to see these major projects designed and built in the UK. These projects utilise a vast range of UK products, equipment, services and personnel.

“The substations are a shining example of British companies working together to achieve great things.”

This month also saw the start of the laying of foundations and subsea cables for the first of the 160 wind turbines, which will make up the 576MW offshore wind farm.

When completed, the wind farm will generate green energy for almost a third of the total of homes in Wales, Siemens said.

The first substation left H&W today. When it reaches its destination off the coast of north Wales on Tuesday it will be lifted by crane on to a foundation.

Connections from the wind farm arrays and the shore can then be made to the platform.

The substation will start exporting power to the electricity grid in 2013.

Gwynt y Mor's construction so far has already supported hundreds of design, engineering and construction jobs in Wales, the north west of England and Northern Ireland, and generated over £300m for the UK economy.

Siemens is creating many new green engineering roles in Manchester and H&W has created many highly skilled engineering jobs during the substations project. On completion, at least another 100 long-term, skilled engineering jobs will be created at RWE npower renewables' |operations and maintenance base at the Port of Mostyn, north Wales.

John Willcock, managing director of Siemens Energy Transmission UK, said: “The Gwynt y Mor project is a very key project for the UK.

“The substations have been designed, engineered and built here, which is a huge boost to UK manufacturing and local job creation.

“It is also a great demonstration of the ongoing vibrancy of the renewables sector and its potential for the UK economy.”

RWE npower renewables' Gwynt y Mor project director, Toby Edmonds said: “This latest milestone is fantastic news for the project.”

Belfast Telegraph