A building site 20km out to sea
It’s a major challenge to build any offshore wind farm and London Array is no exception. As well as the distance from shore, the high winds and unpredictable sea conditions make the construction site a tough place to be.
Luckily, we have the latest technology and equipment on hand to help us complete the job as safely and quickly as possible. Offshore works started in March 2011 when we installed the first of 177 foundations. The first turbine was installed in January 2012; first power was generated in October 2012 and the final turbine was installed in December 2012. The project should be fully operational in Spring 2013.
What we built offshore
The key components of the offshore wind farm are:
- Foundations to secure the wind turbines to the sea bed
- The wind turbines
- Array cables to connect groups of turbines together and to the offshore substations
- Offshore substations to boost the electricity voltage before it’s sent to shore
- Export cables under the sea connecting the offshore and onshore substations.
Click on the links to read more about each of the offshore elements.
Managing offshore construction
Our offshore construction activities are managed from a temporary construction base at the Port of Ramsgate. We started building the base in summer 2010 and our construction team moved into the building in September 2010. Up to 85 staff will operate from it during offshore construction. We’re expecting the base to remain until 2013, when Phase One construction is completed, but it may be left in place to become the construction base for Phase Two if this goes ahead in the near future.