Late last week, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported that the stranded wind farm workers were aboard the 270ft UR 101 barge laying cables between turbines at at the partially operational Robin Rigg Wind Farm, 9km out to sea between England and Scotland, when 16 foot seas and winds of 48 knots caused three of the barge’s four anchors to snap. Tethered by just one anchor, the barge was in real danger of breaking free in a vast marine field of turbine foundations.
After help arrived, only thirty-three of the barge occupants evacuated to rescue vessels, while nine stayed behind to secure the dangerously loose barge. But weather conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the night and efforts to secure the barge failed, so a decision was made to tow the barge back to land, preventing it from crashing into any of the turbine foundations.
Owned and operated by British utility E.ON UK, Robin Rigg just opened with their first phase in October of 2008. When fully operational, the project will have 60 Vestas V90 turbines with a 180MW generating capacity – enough to power an estimated 120,000 homes.
Company officials said they do not believe the incident will have any impact on final completion of the project.
Tim is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media where he writes regularly about the politics of energy and the environment, green business and clean tech. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.