The first ever wind turbine blades manufactured at the Siemens blade factory in Hull are en route to Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm, located off the North Norfolk coast. The Siemens blade factory in Hull officially opened in December 2016 and the first blades to have been manufactured at the site are now ready for installation at Race Bank. The blades have been loaded onto the Sea Installer vessel, and will make their way from the Port of Hull to the Race Bank site for installation.
Matthew Wright, Managing Director for DONG Energy UK, said:
“This is a fantastic moment, not just for Race Bank, but for the whole offshore wind industry in the U.K. To see the first blades made in Hull now loaded out and ready for installation at our project really underlines the strength of the U.K. supply chain to support the growth of offshore wind in this country.
“When complete, Race Bank will be capable of powering over half a million homes with green energy and this is another major success story for offshore wind, bringing jobs and investment across the North of the U.K..”
Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK, said:
“We are delighted to see DONG Energy’s Race Bank development receiving blades made in Hull. This first load out represents a significant milestone in the story of how, in just a few years, we have helped increase the UK economic benefit of lower cost Offshore Wind and help make the Humber region a hub for low-cost, green energy expertise.”
Installation of the blades and rest of the components is on track with 25 turbines installed to date. Race Bank is expected to be fully operational in 2018.
Blades being manufactured in Hull is only one part of a dedicated focus by DONG Energy and Race Bank to use UK suppliers and this includes the array cables – which connect each of the wind turbines to the main export cable that transmits electricity back to shore – where three different UK companies have been contracted.
Last year, DONG Energy also announced plans for a GBP multi-million investment in Grimsby to create the UK's largest offshore wind operations and maintenance hub.
Facts about Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm:
• Owned by DONG Energy (50%), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (25%), Macquarie Capital (12.5%) and Sumitomo Corporation (12.5%)
• Located approximately 16.8 miles off Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk coast and 17.4 miles off the Lincolnshire coast at Chapel St Leonards
• Covers a total area of 75km2
• Consists of 91 Siemens 6 megawatt (MW) turbines
• Total capacity of 573MW, producing enough electricity to power over half a million UK homes annually