The first turbine has been successfully installed and commissioned at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, and on 2nd August started producing electricity to the UK grid.
"This heralds the start of operations and is an important milestone for Scira Offshore Energy, the owner and operator of the wind farm currently being constructed off the North Norfolk coast," said Einar Strømsvåg, General Manager for Scira. In addition, the start up also marks that electricity from the wind farm will be traded in the UK market for the first time.
Schematic of a wind turbine generating power.
This takes place 3 years after consent was granted, and 2 years after the initial construction works started. The wind farm will be producing for at least 25 years, and it will be operated from Scira's base in Wells-next-the-Sea.
Although the operation has started the construction and installation activities will continue into the next year. There are still some 16 foundations to be installed, several kilometres of infield cables to be laid and buried into the seabed and 86 wind turbines to be erected and set into operations before the project, managed by Statoil, hands over the completed wind farm to Scira by the summer 2012.
"Currently on a busy day there are as many as 30 vessels employing around 500 people offshore" said Elly Bjerknes, the Project Manager from Statoil. "The work requires detailed planning and coordination, but progress is also dependent on good weather conditions. High attention is given to health and safety and through the Scira Marine Coordination Centre in Wells we have designed a robust system based on our offshore experience, which we feel is contributing to lifting industry standards."
When Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm is completed and fully operational, around 50 full time personnel will be employed at Scira's new operational base, which will be constructed at Egmere located approximately 3 miles outside Wells. "For example Siemens has already recruited the 24 offshore maintenance technicians who will work on Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm, and all of them are from Norfolk," said Einar Strømsvåg. "In addition the company will indirectly employ more than 25 local people in logistics and support functions associated with the operations. This will have a significant positive local impact."
Sheringham Shoal is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. Statoil is the manager for Scira during the project development and construction phase, while Scira will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the wind farm.
"Offshore wind energy is one of Statoil's growth areas, and we consider UK as one of the most promising markets. Our aim is to utilize our key competence from our offshore oil and gas activities to add value. First power to grid from Sheringham Shoal is a key milestone for Statoil as offshore wind developer, and it also represents the start up of Statoil's electricity trading unit in our offices in London, responsible for trading the power from Sheringham Shoal into the UK electricity market. We are now well prepared for growth within offshore wind in UK", said Ståle Tungesvik, Head of Renewable Energy in Statoil
"This is an important milestone for Statkraft, as we now take on more roles for the operation phase in addition to trading our share of the electricity from the wind farm in the UK market. Control room services for the wind farm will be delivered to Scira by our hydropower plant at Rheidol in Wales, and Statkraft will be responsible for generation forecasting and nomination to the power exchange", says Bjørn Drangsholt, Managing Director for Statkraft UK Ltd.
For further information contact: Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm Communications Manager, Elizabeth Hancock on mobile 07557 264326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue Date: 02-08-2011