May 22, 2008
England, Scotland

Warning issued over Solway windfarm works

Coastguard bosses have warned mariners to steer clear of an offshore windfarm site as construction work restarts.

A total of 60 turbines will be built at Robin Rigg, almost seven miles from the Stewartry coastline.

The next phase of work, which will see installation of 52 foundations, has now begun with various vessels expected to be operating in the Solway Firth.

Two Dutch tugs – the Smit Bronco and Smit Bever – and jack-up barge Lisa A will all be visible from the mainland.

AMT Explorer, a UK vessel built in 1984, will also arrive on-site and prepare to lay cable between the windfarm and the Cumbrian coast.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard told the ‘News’: “We would like to remind all mariners to keep a wide berth during the construction phase.

“An avoidance zone of 500 metres has been placed around all windfarm construction vessels.

“However, due to the different handling characteristics of the AMT Explorer, a 1,000 metre avoidance zone should be observed.”

He added: “Further vessels are expected during the next few months with some larger crane barges due in June.”

The windfarm is expected to be up and running by Spring 2009 despite several delays which included the rescue of 38 workers in September.

Strong winds saw the Lisa A begin to list and prompt the largest ever mercy mission launched in the Solway.

Once complete, the windfarm will produce 180MW of electrical generation and have enough capacity to supply 117,000 homes.

by Colin Paterson

The Galloway News

22 May 2008

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