Siemens picks up €128m London Array transmission contract

ENGLAND: Siemens Energy, which has already been lined up to supply the turbines to the London Array offshore wind farm, has now won the contract to connect the 630 MW project to the onshore transmission network.

London Array: Siemens lands €128m transmission contract

The €128 million order was placed by project owner, the London Array Consortium, comprising Dong Energy, E.ON and Abu Dhabi green investment company Masdar. The deal is one of seven major supply and installation contracts worth almost £2 billion placed by London Array and means the project can now proceed.

The £2.2 billion wind farm will be sited in the Thames estuary, some 20 kilometres from the Kent and Essex coasts.

It will be the largest offshore project in the world when completed in 2012 and has the option of being extended to 1000 MW capacity—enough to supply the domestic needs of 25% of the population of Greater London. Work offshore is to start in early 2011, with completion of the 630 MW first phase by the end of 2012.

The largest contract, worth some £1 billion, went to Siemens Wind Energy in May 2009 for 175 turbines and a five-year servicing deal. The 3.6 MW machines will be fitted with Siemens' new 120 metre rotor and have a hub height of 87 metres above sea level. The turbine supply contract is part of a wider deal between Siemens and Dong for 500 machines.

Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd, based in Manchester, will supply the electrical equipment for two offshore substation platforms which will bundle the power generated by the 175 turbines, before transporting it via high voltage subsea cable to the North Kent coast.

The company has already started work on building the onshore substation at Graveney, where connection to the National Grid is expected to be completed in October 2011.

The foundations contract goes to a joint venture between Per Aarsleff A/S and Bilfinger Berger Ingeniuerbeau GmBH. They will supply 177 monopiles—one for each of the wind turbines and two for the offshore substations.

They will also install the wind turbines. Future Energy, a joint venture between Fabricom, Iemnants and Geosea, is to design, fabricate and install the two identical substations; each to be built on three levels with a floor area of 20 square metres.

The 222 kilometres of 150kV export cables linking the substations to shore are to be supplied by Nexans Norway, while JDR Cable Systems of Hartlepool in the UK is to supply the 210 kilometres of 33kV inter-array cables linking the turbines to the substations. Finally, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and Global marine Systems Limited are to install the export and array cables.

With the award of the major contracts, the London Array qualifies for increased support under the UK's Renewables Obligation. Projects that reach financial close in the year 2009-2010 will receive two renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) compared to 1.5 ROCs for earlier projects. The government has also just announced plans to extend the 2 ROCs support to 2014.