A pioneering wind farm development off the coast of Blyth has reached a notable milestone, with the first turbine foundation making its journey up the River Tyne on route to its final destination.
The GBFs have been constructed at the Neptune dry dock over the past 12 months by BAM Nuttall and these structures will be floated down the river to the Port of Tyne, where extra ballast will be added ahead of their ‘tow-out’ to the offshore wind farm site. Camfaud is involved at the Port of Tyne, pumping the extra ballast to secure the bases on the seabed.
The project will see five wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 41.5MW installed around 6.5km off the coast of Blyth. Once operational, they will generate enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.
Concrete gravity based foundations (GBFs) form part of the project and are being installed using a new ‘float and submerge’ method – the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines. Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, the GBFs are being floated into position at sea and submerged onto the seabed to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the installation of the wind turbines.
Each GBF is made up of more than 1,800 m3 of concrete and weighs over 15,000 tonnes when fully installed on the seabed. The structures have a total height of around 60 metres from the base to the access platform.