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Foundation work starts on Galloper wind farm off Suffolk coast

PUBLISHED: 12:42 28 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:42 28 December 2016

Work taking place to install the first of the foundation components for the Galloper Wind Farm off Orford.

Work taking place to install the first of the foundation components for the Galloper Wind Farm off Orford.

Archant

A £1.5billion wind farm off the Suffolk coast has reached a major milestone with work under way on the foundations for its 56 turbines.

Foundation components waiting for transhipment to the Galloper Wind Farm off Suffolk.Foundation components waiting for transhipment to the Galloper Wind Farm off Suffolk.

The Galloper field – an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard Wind Farm – will be built about 20 miles off Orford and provide power for 336,000 households.

Work started yesterday on the foundations – steel monopiles and transition pieces placed into the seabed, which will provide a solid base for the 6MW Siemens wind turbines due to be installed from spring.

Project director Toby Edmonds said: “It has been a tremendously exciting 12 months for the Galloper project, with a huge amount of progress both in terms of the onshore infrastructure and the offshore preparatory works.

“It is fantastic to have commenced turbine foundation installation, another major milestone for the project. From here-on-in, we will begin to see the offshore components of this nationally significant renewable energy project really take shape.”

GeoSea, a specialist in complex offshore marine engineering projects, is managing the foundation project and has sub contracted Sif Group and Smulders to produce the monopiles and transition pieces.

The components – each is around 85m long and 7.5m in diameter, and weighs up to 1200 tonne – are being loaded onto the GeoSea installation vessel, Innovation, in Rotterdam and Vlissingen. All foundations are expected to be in place by summer.

Mr Edmonds said it had been a busy year for the project, being led by innogy SE on behalf of its partners, who also include the UK Green Investment Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital.

He said: “This time last year we had recently achieved Financial Close for the project and announced our new project partners.

“In the last year we have built the majority of the onshore substation infrastructure; connected the first of two export cables; opened the project Offshore Construction Coordination Base in Lowestoft; celebrated the Siemens assembly base ground-breaking ceremony in Great Yarmouth; and submitted the planning application for our Operations & Maintenance Base in Harwich.”

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