Iberdrola has announced that West of Duddon Sands, the company's first offshore wind farm, is now fully online – and more than two months ahead of schedule.
The 389 MW offshore project is a joint venture between Iberdrola's ScottishPower Renewables subsidiary and Dong Energy in the Irish Sea. Iberdrola says engineers installed and commissioned the 108 turbines and foundations in record time using ‘advanced construction techniques.’ The project features 3.6 MW Siemens turbines, and the Pacific Orca and the Sea Installer vessels were used to perform installations.
According to Iberdrola, over 1,000 people have been employed on the project. Furthermore, the company says a newly constructed operations and maintenance base will support more than 40 jobs for at least the next 20 years.
"The project has been a significant engineering challenge, with many obstacles to overcome, but ultimately it has been a major success," notes Ignacio Galan, chairman of Iberdrola and ScottishPower. "It has tested the U.K.'s ability to deliver major renewable energy projects, in terms of workforce skills, supply-chain depth, facilities and logistics. Ultimately, it has given us great confidence that we can continue to reduce the costs of offshore wind."
Samuel Leupold, executive vice president of wind power at DONG Energy, adds, ‘DONG Energy has been privileged to lead on construction of the project, and we look forward to leading the operational phase, too, as West of Duddon Sands becomes our eighth operational wind farm in the U.K."