Neart na Gaoithe to use new technologies

Friday, 24 April, 2015 - 10:30
The new AC grid access solution from Siemens consists of an Offshore Transmission Module (OTM), which is directly connected to a turbine and installed as a distributed transmission set. (Graphic: Siemens)
The new AC grid access solution from Siemens consists of an Offshore Transmission Module (OTM), which is directly connected to a turbine and installed as a distributed transmission set. (Graphic: Siemens)

Mainstream Renewable Power announced that its Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm will use two new technologies: one is the new Offshore Transmission Module (OTM) from Siemens, the other is High Wind’s Boom Lock system.

For its 448 MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland Mainstream Renewable Power will use two recently launched technologies which are set to decrease costs, reduce construction and operational risk, and improve safety. The technologies include the new Offshore Transmission Module (OTM) by Siemens and High Wind’s Boom Lock system to be deployed by GeoSea for wind turbine component installation at sea. Using these technologies, Mainstream promises to “provide the cheapest electricity ever produced by a UK offshore wind farm”.

Neart na Gaoithe, which was one of only two offshore wind farms awarded a CfD by the UK government in February, received planning consent in October 2014 and is expected to be generating electricity and fully commissioned by 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, Andy Kinsella, Mainstream’s Chief Operations Officer said: “As a global wind and solar company our goal is to deliver a world-class wind farm as well as the best value for money for consumers; and that’s what these technologies will help us achieve.“ He continued: “Neart na Gaoithe is expected to be the first commercially-deployed offshore wind farm that does not require a dedicated heavy offshore substation topside and foundation thanks to Siemens’ new Offshore Transmission Module. We are very excited to see that GeoSea intends to use High Wind’s ground-breaking Boom Lock system which is a game-changer in terms of installing turbine components at sea in high winds.”

The new OTM by Siemens will completely remove the need for large heavy offshore substation platforms and the associated specialist installation vessels. The innovative design approach means that two wind turbine foundations can be used to support the OTM modules, which include the essential transmission equipment. In combination the OTMs offer the same transmission capacity as a conventional solution but with an expected 30 % project saving against the offshore substation system CAPEX costs. It furthermore reduces the operating costs significantly.

High Wind’s Boom Lock system will allow the safe installation of all wind turbine components in winds of up to 15 m/s. The system is mounted on an offshore crane and is designed to control the movement of the crane hook and the payload in such a way that installation time can be drastically reduced. It will considerably increase safety during the installation of the wind turbines as the heavy payloads’ uncontrolled movements in windy conditions will be greatly reduced. This will result in savings due to reduced cost for installation vessels, installation crews and related costs, as well as increased income due to earlier completion of the wind farms.

Katharina Garus

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