The groundbreaking European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre developed by Swedish energy group Vattenfall in waters off the coast of Scotland has delivered its first power to the UK National Grid this week, marking yet another landmark moment for the offshore wind industry.
The 92.4 megawatt (MW) European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), also known as the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, has undergone more ups and downs than most offshore wind developments, thanks in no small part to the man who is now President of the United States, Donald Trump. Located close to Trump International Golf Club, the offshore wind farm was deemed to be a potential eyesore by the once-real estate magnate, and it wasn’t until late 2015 that Trump finally lost the right to halt the project’s development in the UK Supreme Court.
Since then, however, the project has moved forward, step by step, to become what will be one of the world’s leading test sites for the offshore wind industry.
MHI Vestas was confirmed as the wind turbine supplier back in September of 2016, and in April just past, the company announced that the world’s (currently) most powerful wind turbines had been installed at the site — two 8.8 MW turbines, optimized from their traditional 8.4 mode.
The EOWDC has already been lined up to become the heart of offshore wind scientific research with several projects announced to be run at the site, including wildlife studies and measuring the socio-economic impact of offshore wind on the human environment.
Generating first power brings the project one step closer to completion and its role as an internationally renowned site for offshore wind research. First power is being exported via the project’s innovative 66 kilovolt (kV) subsea cabling — the first time that cabling of this capacity has been installed on a commercial offshore wind project in Scotland. The two “strings” of cabling are 4 kilometers worth of 66 kV capacity, compared to the traditional 33 kV.
“Generating power from the EOWDC for the first time, secured by Europe’s technological leadership in offshore wind, gets us to a future free from fossil fuel faster. I look forward to full power later in the summer,” explained Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s head of Business Area Wind.
“We have overcome major engineering and technical challenges to achieve first power on the cutting edge EOWDC thanks to the collective expertise of Vattenfall, and our contractors MHI Vestas, Boskalis and Murphy,” added Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall’s EOWDC project director. “Our priority now is to fully commission the windfarm safely throughout the summer.”
“First power from EOWDC reinforces North-east Scotland’s status as Europe’s energy capital and will help establish the region as an international centre for offshore wind generation.”
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