The EOWDC wind farm off the coast of Scotland has delivered its first power / CREDIT: Vattenfall
Vattenfall confirms offshore wind test site has delivered its first power to the grid
Europe’s largest offshore wind turbine test site has delivered its first power to the grid, according to developer Vattenfall.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Scotland provided its first power to the grid yesterday as the first of 11 turbines began operations.
The power was exported via a 66 kilovolt (kV) subsea cable, marking the first time cabling of this capacity has been installed on a commercial offshore wind project in Scotland.
Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s head of Business Area Wind, said the company was now working to deliver full power from the project later this summer. “Generating power from the EOWDC for the first time, secured by Europe’s technological leadership in offshore wind, gets us to a future free from fossil fuel faster,” he said.
Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall’s EOWDC project director, said the team had “overcome major engineering and technical challenges to achieve first power on the cutting edge EOWDC”.
“Our priority now is to fully commission the windfarm safely throughout the summer,” he added. “First power from EOWDC reinforces North-east Scotland’s status as Europe’s energy capital and will help establish the region as an international centre for offshore wind generation.”
Jean Morrison, chair of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), hailed the speed with which the project has come online following a lengthy planning battle.
“The timescale between the first installation and first power is remarkable,” she said. “The techniques and innovations developed at the EOWDC will be hugely significant for the industry and should help to reduce the future costs of offshore wind. As energy demand grows, we need to maximise the returns from our natural resources and offshore wind can help us do that.”
The project will deliver 93.2MW of capacity when it is fully online and will also showcase the world’s largest offshore wind turbine in the form of a 8.8MW model from MHI Vestas.
The site will also demonstrate a range of cost-cutting technologies, such as the new cables. Vattenfall said the new 66kV, 4km export cable had helped reduce construction costs as less cabling was required compared to the conventional 33kV cables.
Scottish Government Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, hailed the first power from the site as “a very significant milestone”.
“Once the test and demonstration site is fully operational, not only will this help the offshore wind sector to further reduce its costs through lessons learned during operations, but the output from EOWDC will itself add significantly to Scotland’s renewable electricity generating capacity, building on figures announced last month that showed installed capacity reached a record 10.4GW in the first three months of 2018 and which also provisionally indicated that renewable sources met an equivalent of 69 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2017,” he added.