Tuesday, August 15, 2006

North hoyle and Scroby Sands offshore wind farms on course

First annual reports published for north hoyle and scroby sands offshore wind farms

Enough clean energy produced to power almost 80,000 homes; more than a quarter of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions saved; minimal impact on bird and sea life, a good safety record and valuable lessons learned for the future development of a key industry.

These are the main findings of the first progress reports published today from the two projects at the vanguard of the UK's offshore wind farm sector.

Welcoming a promising first year the Minister for Energy Malcolm Wicks said:

"It was suggested earlier this week that the UK has the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of offshore wind energy. There are hurdles to be overcome before we achieve that status but the resource is there and we must harness it.

"The Government has invested £107 million in the first round of offshore wind farm development and the Energy Review published last month outlined measures to provide it with a further impetus as we move forward.

"The UK is one of the countries leading the way in the sector and those companies that have got their projects in the water producing clean, green electricity are to be congratulated."

The first major wind farm to be built in British waters was North Hoyle, which is located off the North Wales coast between Rhyl and Prestatyn. This 30 turbine / 60 MW project was developed and is operated by npower renewables and became fully operational in April 2004.

The second, Scroby Sands is near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. This 30 turbine/60 MW scheme has been developed and run by E.ON UK Renewables.

Each project received £10 million in Government support and under the terms of these grants the developers are required to report back to the DTI for the initial three years of operation.

As well as a good record on the technical side, the wind farms have also received a positive response from the public. Surveys were carried out into residents' attitudes in Rhyl and Prestatyn before and after construction of North Hoyle. They showed a rise in support for the project from 62% to 73% once the wind farm was in place, with only 5% opposing the scheme.

In addition, the Scroby Sands information centre had 35,000 visitors in its first year, illustrating the keen interest in renewable energy projects of this type.

The annual reports published today provide details of the wind capacity at the sites over the first 12 months of operation, as well as the impact on access from adverse weather conditions. There are also details of the ongoing environmental monitoring, information on maintenance plus health and safety records.
Kevin McCullough, managing director of npower renewables said:

"North Hoyle was the first major offshore wind farm to be built in the UK, and as such represents a major achievement and milestone in the UK's drive to increase levels of renewable energy generation.

"It performed well during the first full year of operation, with both operating costs and generation broadly in line with expectations. Availability of the wind turbines for generation improved during the year, giving confidence that if wind speeds are in line with budget, greater generation will be achieved in future years.

"Our close working relationship with Vestas Celtic Wind Technology Limited, our operations and maintenance contractor, has reduced health and safety risks. Despite the challenging environment, in excess of 10,000 transfers between boats and wind turbine towers have been completed without a major incident.

"Our environmental monitoring has shown that the construction and first year of operation of the wind farm have not had any significant effects on the environment, with all results largely as predicted in the Environmental Statement for the project. The monitoring programme is due to continue until 2007 and additional data will give further reassurance that no impacts are occurring."

Jason Scagell, Director of E.ON UK Renewables, said:

"We were very happy with Scroby's performance in the first half of the year, particularly as the operation was in its infancy, but the second half was less satisfactory due to a number of defects with the gearboxes and the generators.
"That meant we had to carry out an extensive programme of modifications but, despite that, the wind farm still generated 153GWh, which is around 90% of our forecast annual output.

"Scroby Sands was and remains a pioneering project from which lessons will be learned.

"We're certainly keen to continue working offshore and have four projects in various states of advancement that will allow us to use the
lessons from Scroby in larger developments."

Notes to Editors

1. A copy of the North Hoyle report can be found here (2 parts):



2. A copy of the Scroby Sands report can be found here:


Department of Trade and Industry

7th Floor
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET
Public Enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740
(for those with hearing impairment)


Post a Comment

<< Home