Leading power and automation technology group ABB has been commissioned to supply a submarine AC power cable system for a new wind farm located off the coast of Norfolk.
The $55 million order will require ABB to supply the underwater cables that will feed the electricity generated by the 400 MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm into the UK national grid. The order was received from Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited, a company owned by Statoil and Statkraft.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm will be capable of producing enough electricity to power more than 400,000 UK homes annually. The turbines will be located in waters 18-25 metres deep on a 55km² site situated 32km off the coast of the seaside town of Cromer in north Norfolk. The 400 MW wind farm will produce enough ‘green’ energy to displace CO2 emissions by up to 19 million tonnes over its 25-year lifetime.
Electricity generated by the wind farm will be brought to shore via a seabed cable at Weybourne Hope, some 5km west of the coastal town of Sheringham. An underground cable will be laid from this point to carry the electricity to Necton, where a purpose-built substation will transmit into the national grid.
Claudio Facchin, Head of ABB’s Power Systems division explains that offshore wind is a growing renewable energy resource, with Europe accounting for around 70 percent of new offshore wind generation capacity. Transporting electricity from offshore wind farms to the shore and then integrating it into the grid for supply to consumers are key elements and a major focus area for ABB.
ABB will design and supply two 132 kV three-core AC submarine cables, each 42km in length, running from the wind farm’s offshore substation to Weybourne Hope, where they will connect to the onshore cables. The submarine cables will be manufactured at ABB’s high-voltage cable factory in Karlskrona, Sweden, and delivery will commence in 2016.
According to Bjørn Ivar Bergemo, Asset Manager of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, the submarine export cable connection is a long-lead item and placing this contract represents a major milestone in the development of the Dudgeon project. He added that the cables will be some of the longest offshore cables ordered so far for a UK offshore wind project.