Wobbly wind turbines will be shored up next month in a project bosses described as “an interesting engineering challenge”.
Engineers discovered earlier this year that grout connections on the foundations of turbines at the Kentish Flats wind farm, off the coast of Whitstable and Herne Bay, had shifted slightly, meaning a piece of the turbine had also moved.
Turbine supplier Vestas – which will carry out the work for free because the turbines are still within their warranty period – has now appointed contractors SubCPartner to carry out the repairs. Bosses at windfarm operator Vattenfall said it would mean a boost for Whitstable harbour.
Its head of generation Willem van Dongen said: “Monitoring and solving the grout issue at Kentish Flats has proven to be a really interesting engineering challenge, and we are looking forward to work commencing next month.
“There is sure to be a lot of interest in what we, Vestas and SubCPartner are doing, especially as the harbour is going to see a major lift in activity in the next five months, and so we are committed to ensuring that local people are kept fully informed about our activity.
“Vattenfall also expects a number of local businesses will see the benefit of the work, as well as Whitstable harbour.
“This is important to us as Vattenfall values its relationship with the local community.”
The contractors will use local businesses and suppliers and are also expected to hire staff locally. They will be based on the west quay of Whitstable harbour, which is managed by Canterbury City Council, for up to five months, storing machinery and equipment there.
Harbour master Mike Wier said: “Canterbury City Council and Whitstable harbour welcome SubCPartner and look forward to providing their services and facilities in support of this work.”