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One Of Europe’s Largest Offshore Wind Farms Commissioned

One of Europe’s largest offshore wind-farm’s has finally been commissioned, upon completion of its 60 kilometres worth of 36 kilovolt infield submarine cable linking it to the Belgium grid. The Thornton Bank wind farm was commissioned by ABB for Belgian company C-Power NV on schedule.

“Integrating renewable energy sources to the grid is a key focus area as Europe strives to balance the need for electricity with minimizing environmental impact,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “The close collaboration with C-Power combined with ABB’s technologies, domain competence and experience were key success factors in the smooth execution of this project.”

5 megawatt turbines at Thornton Bank offshore wind farm Image Credit: ABB

5 megawatt turbines at Thornton Bank offshore wind farm
Image Credit: ABB

Located 30 kilometres off the Belgian coast in the North Sea, the transmission link was the final stage in the commissioning of the Thornton Bank wind farm, which was preceded by the installation of 54 wind turbines, then another 48.

ABB were responsible for the system engineering, design, supply, and commissioning of the submarine cables, the land-based cable systems, and the offshore substation and platform that houses it. The energy generated by the Thornton Bank wind turbines is fed into the Belgian grid at the Slijkens high-voltage substation  Bredene, located approximately 3 kilometres inland.

ABB are suitable proud of this latest achievement. “ABB was selected by C-Power for the project because it could provide the complete offshore wind power connection to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of energy from the wind farm to the onshore transmission grid,” said Geert Dewaele, Chief Technical Officer of C-Power. They go on to say in their press release;

ABB is the only company that can provide a complete electrical offshore wind farm connection consisting entirely of its own products – high-voltage submarine and underground cable systems, offshore substation and onshore grid connection. By providing all the products ABB was able to optimize the solution in terms of equipment and materials to meet the requirements of C-Power for cost efficiency and performance.

Belgium will similarly be pleased with the completion of the wind farm, as it will receive approximately 7% of its targeted renewable energy commitment from the Thornton Bank wind farm, and help avoid approximately 415,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year (“compared to a traditional gas-fueled power plant”). The project is estimated to have cost approximately 153 million Euros, but that will be considered a small price to pay given its hoped-for impact.

The Thornton Bank wind farm made history back in May of 2012 when it installed the world’s first 6 MW offshore wind turbine in the second batch of wind turbines.

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