Unexpected delays and the prospect of wintry weather has prompted a sea change in the Redcar wind farm project.
A new vessel, more suitable for bad weather, has been drafted in as work to install the wind farm’s turbines resumes after weeks of delays.
It was originally hoped to start installing them last month.
But delays caused by the discovery of unexploded ordnance, and the installation vessel getting a leg stuck in mud, has forced a rethink.
Now the MPI Adventure will be doing the work off Redcar.
A spokesperson for the firm behind the project, EDF Energy Renewables, explained: “As the project has moved into the winter period, we have been reviewing the use of vessels for the installation of wind turbines on the Teesside offshore wind farm.
“We have always been aware of the restrictions of the navigation channel at the Port of Hartlepool, where our supply base is located.
“Normally this would not have posed a problem, but delays in the project mean we are now entering a period of uncertain weather conditions. As a result, we have been examining the potential use of a larger vessel which is more suitable for winter operations.
“We have now concluded negotiations with our contractors over the use of an alternative vessel and installation of the turbines will begin as soon as possible.”
The MPI Adventure is a 138.5m long, six-leg jack-up vessel designed to transport, lift and install wind turbines. It usually operates out of the Tees and is owned by Stokesley-based MPI Offshore.
Individual turbines will be shipped to the wind farm site and installed onto the monopile foundations. The two-tower sections will be erected first, with the nacelle, the rotor hub and blades then added.
Installation of the wind turbines is now scheduled to start before Christmas, with electrical commissioning and testing to be carried out as soon as installation is complete.
All other major works associated with the new wind farm, including the construction of the onshore substation at Warrenby, are now complete.
The spokesperson added: “Allowing for increased weather downtime over the winter, it is expected that the project will be completed in spring 2013, although individual turbines will start to generate electricity as soon as they become operational.”
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