PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Brough, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 2007/12/20 - The MV Resolution is the world's first purpose-built vessel for carrying out the installation of offshore wind farms and is one of only a handful of vessels capable of carrying out the construction of what will be one of world's largest offshore wind.
E.ON, one of the UK's leading green generators, has announced that offshore construction of its £325m Robin Rigg Wind Farm has started in the Solway Firth.
The company has confirmed the jack-up vessel MV Resolution arrived in Belfast yesterday (DEC 18) and will now begin the mammoth task of installing the first of 60 turbine foundations, each weighing up to 280 tonnes - the equivalent of around 70 fully grown African elephants - and two substation foundations.
Ian Johnson, Senior Project Manager for E.ON UK, said: "The Resolution will use six massive legs, each almost half the length of a football pitch, to lift itself out of the water and create a stable platform from which we can work.
"We use an 80 metre crane to lift the foundations off the deck of the vessel and then drive them into the sea bed with a 140-tonne anvil and an incredibly powerful hydraulic ram."
Each foundation consists of a monopile, which is a steel cylinder 50 metres long and 4.3 metres in diameter, and a large yellow transition piece, which is fixed over the top of the monopile and forms the base to which the turbine towers and substation platforms are fitted.
The turbines will be supplied by Danish firm Vestas and are 80m to hub height with a blade diameter of 90m, meaning they will be a maximum of 125m above sea level.
The MV Resolution is the world's first purpose-built vessel for carrying out the installation of offshore wind farms and is one of only a handful of vessels capable of carrying out the construction of what will be one of world's largest offshore wind farms.
The jack-up vessel, which was in the Solway Firth last year to carry out tests on the site, is expected to work through the remainder of December and January.
"We're going to be out there as weather permits through the winter period to ensure enough foundations are installed to enable us to start erecting the turbines in the Spring and Summer," said Ian.
"Onshore work and the manufacture of the offshore substations have been progressing well and we hope to have Robin Rigg fully commissioned by Spring 2009 as planned. We're sure that when completed it'll make a significant contribution in the fight against climate change."
At 180MW Robin Rigg will generate enough clean, green energy to power up to 117,000 homes and displace the emission of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The Resolution has been brought in as a temporary replacement for the Lisa A, the jack-up vessel originally tasked with carrying out the installation of the turbine foundations.
The Lisa A is currently in Belfast undergoing repairs after sustaining damage to one of its legs while in the Solway Firth in September. It is expected to return to work on the site once the repairs have been completed.
The MV Resolution is currently chartered by Centrica and has been successfully installing foundations on its 180MW Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms. An agreement has been struck between E.ON, Centrica and the vessel owners MPI to use the Resolution on Robin Rigg to augment the existing installation vessels being used there.
"We're grateful to Centrica and MPI for giving us the opportunity to use the Resolution for a short period this winter and again next summer. It's a great example of how the industry can work together to maximise the usage of scarce resources such as installation vessels," said Ian.