RWE Innogy UK Completed Foundation Installation

By MarEx 2014-04-28 16:31:00

The installation of all 160 foundations at the world’s second largest wind farm, Gwynt y Môr, has been successfully completed. The final transition piece was installed on Wednesday 23rd April more than eight miles off the North Wales coast by RWE’s jack up installation vessel, Friedrich Ernestine. The vessel has now completed its scope of work and will sail to Germany to install turbines at Gwynt y Môr’s sister project, Nordsee Ost.

Gwynt y Môr is a greater than £2billion offshore wind farm on schedule to become fully constructed in 2014, and will be capable of generating enough energy from renewable sources to power the equivalent of approximately 400,000 homes - around a third of the total number of homes in all of Wales.

RWE Innogy UK’s Gwynt y Môr’s Project Director, Toby Edmonds said: “This is a tremendous milestone for the project. Foundations consist of a monopile and a transition piece and the first of these was installed on 8th August 2012, using the heavy lift vessel, Stanislav Yudin. Since then a number of other vessels, including the Friedrich Ernestine, have joined the project to carry out foundation installation activity which is always a technically challenging part of the construction process. With this achievement behind us we can focus on installing the final 19 turbines, commissioning the entire array and bringing on line a highly capable renewable energy source, powered from the UK’s own freely available natural resources and able to support approximately 400,000 homes.”

For its scope of work at Gwynt y Môr, the Friedrich Ernestine was fitted with the world’s largest reverse circulation pile top drill. The LDD500 was designed and built in the UK by Cornwall based LDD, who also provided a team to operate the drill offshore. 

Friedrich Ernestine was built and is operated by RWE Innogy’s subsidiary RWE OLC GmbH. Its Chief Financial Officer, Peter Sharman said: “We are very proud that the first commission for Friedrich Ernestine has successfully completed. This campaign has fully proven the year round operating capabilities, in the tough offshore conditions in which this vessel was designed to operate. We are very pleased with the extremely high technical availability that has been provided to the Gwynt y Môr project. The Friedrich Ernestine will now travel to Bremerhaven to team up with her sister vessel the Victoria Matthias in the installation of the wind turbines at the Nordsee Ost wind farm.” 

The construction of Gwynt y Môr to date, has enabled the injection of over £350million into the UK supply chain, created and secured employment for over 2,500 people in the UK, and is expected to sustain over 100 jobs long term through a new multi-million pound operations and maintenance base, which is being built at the Port of Mostyn in North Wales.

At the same time, North Wales Communities have been consulted on how to most usefully invest over £19million in community funding over the wind farm's working lifetime. This is in addition to a £690,000 Tourism Fund.

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