November 21, 2019

Rampion Wind Farm could triple in length: this is why

By James Butler | Eastbourne Herald | Wednesday 20 November 2019 |

The Rampion wind farm could be tripled in length, according to online maps.

The website of the Crown Estate – a collection of land belonging to the monarch, including the seabed around England – suggested the Rampion wind farm could be two-thirds longer than it is currently on the western side.

Currently, the wind farm has 116 turbines which generate a maximum of 400 megawatts of energy – enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes a year, equivalent to around half the homes in Sussex.

A spokesman for Rampion explained that on August 28, the Crown Estate announced a number of extension projects for possible future wind farm development off the coast of England and Wales.

They said: “We’re pleased that an extension ‘area of search’, next to the existing Rampion Wind Farm, has been confirmed as potentially suitable.

“We’re at an early stage of exploring the potential for development through environmental and engineering work and intend to engage with stakeholders more on this next year.”

They added that any extension would be ‘subject to the same rigorous planning and consultation processes as previously undertaken’, and during which time they ‘would work closely with both the community and local stakeholders before any proposal is submitted’.

The wind farm was built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge and a consortium comprising the Green Investment Group, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

Offshore construction began in early 2016, and the project was completed by April, 2018.

This news comes as the wind farm remained shut down following a fault on its high-voltage electrical distribution system.

One such reader contacted the paper to say they had not seen the turbines moving since Sunday, October 27.

At the time, a Rampion spokesman said the ‘temporary shutdown’ would not affect the supply of electricity to the local area as the wind farm was connected to the High Voltage National Grid.

On Monday, the spokesman said a ‘jack-up vessel’ – a platform used in the maintenance of wind farms – had arrived to help engineers ‘repair and replace components on the high-voltage electrical distribution system at our offshore substation’.

They went on to say: “It is crucial that these repairs are carried out correctly, which will take some time, but we hope to have the wind farm up and running again in the next few weeks.”

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