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Repair plan for offshore windfarm  

A cable that brings power ashore from an offshore windfarm has failed and needs to be replaced in the spring.

E.on, the firm that owns Scroby Sands windfarm two kilometres off the Norfolk coast at Caister, said one of its three high-voltage cables had failed.

This means that if the wind turbines are working at full capacity only 66% of the power can be brought ashore.

E.on’s other off-shore windfarm at Blyth, Northumberland, is also awaiting repair after a sub-sea cable broke.

The cable failure at Scroby Sands, which opened in 2004, is the latest in a number of problems to dog the 30-turbine windfarm.

In 2006 and 2007 all of the turbines were given replacement generators and gearboxes under guarantee from the manufacturers Vestas.

In the summer of 2007 part of the promenade on Great Yarmouth’s north parade was excavated to allow repairs to one of the 33,000-volt cables which had failed because moisture had seeped into a connection joint.

Emerging technology

A worker was treated in hospital for burns caused by an electrical flash while working to repair those cables.

Jamee Majid, spokesman for E.on, said: “The cable isn’t working properly and we’re not entirely sure what’s caused the failure.

“As we move forward we learn how the equipment interacts with the environment. That’s part of the learning process.

A statement to the BBC released on behalf of energy minister Malcolm Wicks, said that off-shore windfarms were an emerging technology and that subsidising and investing in more was not a waste of money.

The statement said: “Offshore wind is a new technology operating in a harsh marine environment.

“These projects are early demonstration projects designed to test the technology to enable larger projects in the future to be better designed and developed.

“Whilst there have been problems with individual turbines…there is no reason to stop building off-shore wind farms.”

BBC News

21 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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