The first ever wind turbine blades manufactured at the Siemens blade factory in Hull this week were transported to Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm, off the east coast of England.
The blades have been loaded from the factory – which opened last December – onto a special purpose ship, the Sea Installer, and are making their way from the Port of Hull to the Race Bank, which is owned by DONG Energy (50 per cent), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25 per cent), Macquarie Capital (12.5 per cent) and Sumitomo Corporation (12.5 per cent).
The wind farm is 17 miles off the coast and covers a total area of 75 square kilometres. It will comprise 91 of Siemens’ 6 MW turbines and will have a total capacity of 573 MW.
“This is a fantastic moment, not just for Race Bank, but for the whole offshore wind industry in the UK,” said Matthew Wright, managing director of DONG Energy UK.
“To see the first blades made in Hull now loaded out and ready for installation at our project really underlines the strength of the UK supply chain to support the growth of offshore wind in this country.”
Clark MacFarlane, managing director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK, said the first delivery of blades from Hull “represents a significant milestone in the story of how, in just a few years, we have helped increase the UK economic benefit of lower cost offshore wind and help make the Humber region a hub for low-cost, green energy expertise”.
Installation of the blades and other components at Race Bank is on track, with 25 turbines so far installed and the project expected to be fully operational in 2018.