North East wind industry gets stronger

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Blyth’s offshore wind farm project has taken a key step forward now the first of the turbines’ foundation structures have been transported to site from the River Tyne. The concrete gravity based foundations will be installed using a ‘float and submerge’ technique, a first for the offshore wind industry.

Each of the 60m high structures weighs about 15,000 tonnes. There are to be five MHI Vestas V164 turbines installed around 7km off the Blyth coast, generating a capacity of 41.5MW. The foundation structures have been built by BAM Nutall Group at the Neptune yard on the Tyne. Once in place, inter-array cable will be laid by specialist contractor VBMS, with the wind farm aiming to generate electricity by the end of the year.

Wilton Engineering on Teesside has won an £11m contract to supply transition pieces for Dong Energy’s Hornsea One project, creating an additional 60 jobs in the region. The good news follows support through a performance bond loan from the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund, managed by FW Capital.

Bill Scott, Wilton Managing Director said: “We are extremely pleased to secure capital bonding through FW Capital, which allows the company to take on further international business in the offshore wind industry.”

Energy expert analysis

The recent activity in the North East is very encouraging, particularly in the offshore engineering sector, with more positive news on turbine foundations and offshore wind activity.

Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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