RWE today confirmed that it has completed all the major onshore electrical system construction works associated with Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm. The works, which commenced in September 2018, involved laying 57km of 220kV underground cable from the project’s landfall location near Anderby Creek to the newly constructed Triton Knoll Onshore Substation near Bicker Fen. A further 1.8km of 400kV cabling was installed to allow connection into the UK national grid at the existing National Grid Bicker Fen Substation.
Triton Knoll is jointly owned by RWE (59%), J-Power (25%) and Kansai Electric Power (16%), with RWE leading both the wind farm’s construction and the long-term operation and maintenance works on behalf of the project partners. The project represents an investment of around £2 billion in renewable energy infrastructure with over 50% of total expenditure in the UK supply chain.
In delivering the onshore construction works, Triton Knoll aimed to boost the local economy wherever possible. All project resource, engineering, civils and reinstatement contracts were sourced in the UK and many were local to the East Coast region. Triton Knoll sponsored local careers fairs and ‘meet the buyer’ events to ensure that local businesses were aware of the contract opportunities available. At its peak, over 300 people were employed on the construction works using local services such as hotels, cafes, supermarkets and transport.
Julian Garnsey, Project Director for RWE and Triton Knoll, said: “We have worked closely with all our supply chain to ensure that construction progressed safely and efficiently, even during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’d like to thank everyone involved for their dedication to ensuring the safety of all whilst building this nationally significant infrastructure project. We’d also like to thank the local communities and landowners for their understanding and cooperation while we completed the construction works. Land has been handed back to owners ahead of schedule in many locations and now reinstatement works are complete, with the vast majority of the land already returned to agricultural use.”
Siemens Energy was responsible for the construction of both the onshore and offshore substations and the installation of the 400kV cabling. Phil Manley, project director for Siemens Energy, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the Siemens Energy team who has delivered this vital infrastructure project in challenging times. As a responsible contractor, it has been important to us that the only mark we leave on the landscape is the state-of-the-art substation which will feed the clean electricity generated offshore to the thousands of homes and businesses in the area. We are delighted this work is now complete and the wind farm takes a step towards completion.”
Construction and engineering company J Murphy & Sons carried out the 57km onshore cable installation. Graham Carr, managing director for Energy at Murphy, said “It’s a great honour to be involved in delivering one of the UK’s most significant infrastructure projects, and the longest cable route of any offshore wind farm ever installed in the UK. This was a great project that demonstrated the skills and capabilities of our teams and help deliver renewable energy safely and reliably to thousands of homes and businesses.”
The Triton Knoll team has been proactively involved in the community throughout the construction phase. During the onshore works, Triton Knoll made £500,000 of funding available through the Triton Knoll Construction Community Fund, which has already benefited 57 local projects. Over £20,000 of funding has also been provided to local projects in the first funding round of the Triton Knoll Annual Community Fund which will be available throughout the operational lifecycle of the offshore wind farm. The Annual Fund is open to support community projects located near the landfall at Anderby Creek and the onshore substation at Bicker Fen. The new fund, which is administered by the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, will contribute to vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities while promoting community spirit and engagement.
The offshore wind farm generated its first electricity in February 2021. First generation marked a key milestone for the project partners as it delivered renewable electricity from the offshore wind farm to homes and businesses for the first time. The project announced the successful completion of turbine installation in September, commissioning works continue offshore and, once fully operational, Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm1 will generate enough electricity to meet the needs of around 800,000 homes each year, helping to decarbonise the UK’s energy system.