The first third of the on-shore high voltage cables that will connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the UK’s National Grid have now been installed.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is delivering the land-based infrastructure for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which will connect to the National Grid near Beverley, East Yorkshire.
The North Wales-headquartered company is installing an approximate total of 80 miles of underground cabling in ducts on the site across two routes, using a combination of trenching and horizontal directional drilling, where trenches are not suitable such as through water courses.
With wetter weather now closing in, much of the site is entering a winter shutdown in order to preserve the quality of the soil, with around 75 per cent of the DC electrical ducting system that will house high voltage cables installed.
However, drilling will continue into the new year, with the firm planning to complete this aspect in spring 2022.
James Lockwood, project manager for Jones Bros, said: “We have made excellent progress while the weather has been with us, and as such have installed a significant amount of cable.
“The cable itself runs across two routes: a DC route which goes from the connection point with offshore cables to the converter station, and a shorter AC route, which then runs from the converter station to National Grid infrastructure.
“Additionally, we have been able to start some works restoring parts of the site, a process which includes sowing a mix of specially selected cover crops that will help maintain the nutrient levels in the soil in preparation of the final reinstatements work due to carried out next year.
“Once better weather returns in the spring, we’ll be back underway with high voltage duct and cable installation, working towards a final site handover in June 2023.”
The team have also constructed 28 of the project’s 74 joint bays, which will form part of the infrastructure for the connection between offshore power cables and the mains grid.
Onshore works manager for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, Oliver Flattery, said: “Great progress has been made over the last few years to prepare the land-based infrastructure for the first two phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
“We remain committed to operating safely, sustainably and respectfully as we continue our drilling work in East Riding of Yorkshire, and as duct and cable installation work picks up again in the Spring.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being built more than 130km off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea, is currently being developed in three 1.2GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.
Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40 per cent), Equinor (40 per cent) and Eni (20 per cent). In November 2021 SSE Renewables and Equinor, 50:50 joint venture partners in Dogger Bank C, announced Eni will take a 20 per cent stake in the final phase, with SSE Renewables and Equinor maintaining 40 per cent stakes each.
The deal is expected to complete in Q1 2022, subject to Dogger Bank C Financial Close and regulatory approvals.