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London Array offshore wind farm installs substations

Two offshore substations have been installed at the 1 GW London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

The substations are built on three levels, and each substation weighs over 1260 tonnes – which according to the developers is the rough equivalent of 200 African elephants.

The substations will transform the electricity generated by the offshore wind turbines from 33,000 V to 150,000 V before exporting it via four 50 km export cables, to the new onshore substation at Cleve Hill, near Faversham.

There the voltage will be increased to 400,000 V before being fed into the National Grid transmission network.

Richard Rigg, Project Director at London Array, says: “We should never underplay the difficulties of working offshore – especially when we’re using a 3300 tonne lift-capacity floating crane to place something that’s 25 m by 23 m, and 22 m tall, onto a foundation 15 km from shore, but it’s fair to say that things went swimmingly.”

The offshore wind turbines from Siemens Wind Power will start to be installed towards the end of the year.

The offshore wind farm substations were designed, built and installed by Future Energy a joint venture between Fabricom, Iemants and Geosea, with the electrical systems supplied and installed by Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power