Vattenfall’s Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Cumbria, UK, was officially inaugurated. The energy company’s CEO and President, Mr Øystein Løseth, hailed an exceptional engineering achievement which shows the way forward for offshore wind power in Europe.
Mr Løseth was joined by local MP John Woodcock and over 150 guests on a ship among the towering 30 turbines, 150 megawatt (MW) in total. Mr Woodcock emphasised the need for economic regeneration in places like nearby Barrow and welcomed Vattenfall’s £500 million wind farm investment, of which a third went to British business.
Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm includes a lot of innovations making it one of the most cutting edge wind farms in the world. It is the first commercial deployment of one of the world's largest ‘market-ready’ wind turbines, the REpower 5MW. It is also the first commercial deployment of steel jacket foundations fabricated in Scotland by Burntisland Fabrication. Also, the wind farm has the longest 'single-pull' electricity export cable installation in UK waters, stretching a full 42km.
“Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm is one of the most innovative operational offshore wind farms in the world and we believe it provides a glimpse into the future of offshore wind in Europe. The lessons that we have learned and the innovation we have demonstrated in the harsh environment of the Irish Sea will help us deliver the safe, productive and low cost offshore wind of the future”, said Mr Løseth.
He went on to comment on Vattenfall’s UK journey: “Vattenfall entered the UK wind market in late 2008. Since then we have invested over £2 billion in building five wind farms and supported thousands of British jobs.”
Mr Woodcock said: “I am honoured to help Vattenfall officially inaugurate the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm. The Wind Farm is a welcome boost to the local and regional economy. The town and I look forward to a long relationship with Vattenfall as a local employer and I will continue to work with them to ensure that local people, businesses and suppliers, can benefit from the wind farm over its lifetime.”
Construction of Ormonde Offshore Wind commenced in 2010 with the first turbines deployed in 2011, first power was in August 2011, the last was turbine installed the same month and commissioning completed in February 2012.