The team readied the first OTM which set sail on a barge pulled by tugs on 6 April, reaching its offshore location on 12 April. This is a critical stage in the project which will help the country secure renewable power for the future. The second will be delivered in the coming months.
Once it arrived, it was successfully installed onto its monopile foundations, and work will now take place to ready it for connection to the onshore substation at Bicker Fen, which will be the first step to enabling power to be transferred into the grid.
The OTMs, which were fabricated and fit out in Belgium by Smulders and Engie/Fabricom, are an essential part of the wind farm. They stabilise and maximise the voltage of the power received from offshore before transmitting the electricity to shore. Each OTM weighs 1,200 tonnes, is 41 metres tall and covers an area of 560 m2. Both OTMs will be installed on a monopile foundation, of which some 16 metres is below sea level.
Mark Pilling, Managing Director, Transmission Solutions, Siemens Energy Ltd said: “I’m incredibly proud of the team who have worked on this project, who worked very hard to meet this major milestone and had to do so in challenging circumstances. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the team needed to adapt how they worked on site quickly, to meet the government guidance. But with a reduced workforce, the work was carried out ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors.
“Once both platforms are in position on their foundations, we can then move to the next stage of the project and get them connected to the grid to ensure homes and businesses can benefit from the clean, green energy generated by this project.”
Julian Garnsey, Project Director for Triton Knoll and innogy, said: “In the current climate, the delivery of this milestone is a notable achievement. Our thanks go to everyone who contributed to the safe installation of this platform, which is testament to the commitment of the teams involved, all of whom are operating under tight control measures in line with the current UK Government guidance.
“At Triton Knoll we remain committed to delivering electricity infrastructure equal to the typical needs of over two million UK residents (1) and within the timescales expected by the UK’s energy supply.”