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Vattenfall yesterday hailed a world class engineering achievement with the installation off Cumbria of one of the world’s largest offshore wind turbines.

The 153 metre wind turbine, weighing in at 661 tonnes is the first of thirty to be installed in the coming months at the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm.

At night on the 22 March the REpower 5M 5 megawatt (MW) wind turbine was installed by a team of Vattenfall and REpower engineers and the crew of the SeaJack, which is a specially designed wind turbine installation vessel.

The SeaJack, which carries components for two wind turbines, will now move onto a second foundation and install the other turbine in its cargo.

The REpower 5M is among the largest offshore wind turbines in the world and the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm will be the largest commercial deployment of the wind turbine.

Vattenfall’s Project Manager for Ormonde Matthew Green said: “Safely and carefully installing a 661 tonne, 153 metre wind turbine, in the Irish Sea is a world class engineering achievement. I would like to thank everyone on the project for their professionalism as we now look to make good progress towards completing the project in 2011.”

He added: “The efficient installation of these wind turbines, some of the most powerful ever installed, has required us to make advances in the way we transport them to site. Never before have two turbines of this scale been assembled and then transported in a single trip and we are very proud of this achievement.”

Frank Zimmermann, Head of the Offshore Business Unit of REpower Systems AG: "We had the opportunity to install our first offshore wind turbines in the UK, Germany and Belgium, far shore and in deep water. Benefitting from this experience we are now taking the first step towards large scale wind farms at an industrial level, with installing 30 turbines in Ormonde. One particular challenge is to coordinate the numerous different parties out on the open water together with Vattenfall. Here, the profound and detailed planning of methods and interface handling, done over the last almost two years, is paying off!"

Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm has been under construction since May 2010. Installation of the wind turbines should be completed in the second half of 2011. Vattenfall started works to lay the export cable that will carry green electricity from the wind farm to shore in January this year.

Source : Communiqué Vattenfall

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