RWE npower renewables has today announced the awarding of a multi-million pound contract to UK firm Global Marine Systems, to install offshore export cables at Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, North Wales.
At 576MW, Gwynt y Môr will be one of the largest offshore wind farms currently in construction, and is being built by RWE npower renewables. The project is a shared investment between partners RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke Munchen and Siemens. Once fully operational, energy generation from Gwynt y Môr is expected to be equivalent to the average annual needs of around 400,000 homes.
Announcing the award of the latest contract, RWE npower renewables' Gwynt y Môr Project Director, Toby Edmonds said: "Gwynt y Môr is one of the largest offshore construction projects currently underway in the UK, and I am delighted that more and more elements can be delivered from within the UK supply chain, through the awarding of contracts such as this.
"We have one of Europe's most competent, skilled and experienced workforces in the field of offshore windfarm development and operation. Having Global Marine Systems Energy onboard will ensure Gwynt y Môr is delivered to the very highest standards across all aspects of the development."
Global Marine Energy managing director Nicola Broom commented: "We are pleased to be a key contractor to this, one of the world's largest offshore windfarms, which will further strengthen the UK's position as a world-leader in the renewables industry - contributing to reductions in carbon emissions, whilst also supporting the UK's marine engineering Industry.
"Our experience in managing the complexities of subsea power cable installation will be crucial to this project, which is massive in scale, and which will realise the great potential of the Welsh coast as a site for innovation in offshore transmission design."
The offshore wind farm is being constructed 13 kilometres off the North Wales coast, in water depths of 12-28 metres, and was granted approval by DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) back in December 2008.
Global Marine Systems Energy, the energy unit of Global Marine Systems Ltd, was selected to carry out the subsea cable installation, on the basis of its historical track record of successful cable installation and the significant amount of work within the offshore windfarm market over the past ten years.
The Gwynt y Môr project represents a further significant expansion into the market for the company. Global Marine will apply its wealth of experience to installing the subsea power cables to take the electricity from Gwynt y Môr's two offshore electrical substations to underground transition pits on the shore.
Construction of the €2billion Gwynt y Môr project began in November 2009 when work to prepare land at St Asaph for the construction of a new 132/400kV substation was carried out by North Wales civil engineering company Jones Bros.
Turbine foundation installation is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2011, and is expected to last for approximately two years.
Offshore export cable installation is due to commence in 2012, with Global Marine already involved in the planning and preparation of activities for the project.