Windfarm's power goes on to national grid

THE first electricity generated at a massive offshore windfarm in Essex has been fed into the national grid, a power company announced yesterday.

Roddy Ashworth

THE first electricity generated at a massive offshore windfarm in Essex has been fed into the national grid, a power company announced yesterday.

Two of the huge Dong Energy turbines that will form part of a 48-strong array off the coast of Clacton began operation on Thursday.

And last night a further two turbines were due to be activated, meaning that when weather conditions are right the windfarm will be supplying enough electricity to power around 10,000 homes.


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A total of 16 wind turbines have already been erected on Gunfleet Sands, about 4.5 miles out to sea.

But a further 32 of the 129-metre-tall structures are yet to be erected at the site, situated in the Northern Thames Estuary.

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The electricity is taken from the turbines to a large substation in the centre of the array, which then converts it to the correct voltage for the national grid.

The electricity then flows along an undersea cable to Holland Haven, under the nearby marshes and connects to the grid at the Cook's Green sub station in Clacton.

Frits Kristoffersen, project manager for the Gunfleet Sands array, said that workers were currently laying the remaining inter-array electrical connection cables between the turbines.

He added: “The construction process is progressing well and the first generation of electricity is another important milestone for the project.”

“With the current progress being made, we anticipate the remaining 32 wind turbines to be fully erected and operational towards the end of this year.

“We are currently commissioning the next batch of erected turbines and these too will be generating electricity shortly.”

The Gunfleet Sands project will generate enough clean renewable energy for approximately 120,000 households or approximately 20% of the homes in Essex.

It is hoped the wind farm will reach full production during 2010.

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