The 75-metre long blades are being made at Siemens Gamesa’s Hull factory demonstrating ScottishPower Renewables’ commitment to UK content.
Production of the first wind turbine blade for the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm represents a significant milestone for the project located 43km off the Suffolk coast.
The fibre glass blade has been manufactured by the 850-strong team at Siemens Gamesa’s state-of-the-art factory at Green Port Hull, and is the first of 306 which will be manufactured at the site utilising the specialist workforce.
Inspection of the blade, and sign-off by the East Anglia ONE project team, was completed on 7th February. With the blades comparable in length to the wingspan of an Airbus A380, this feat of engineering forms part of the major contract between leading wind energy producer ScottishPower Renewables and Siemens Gamesa to manufacture and install the turbines for the East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm.
The £2.5 billion East Anglia ONE project will see 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines deployed, each with a capacity of 7 megawatts; which could in total provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes annually*.
Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE Project Director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The manufacture of the first blade from Hull is a fantastic milestone in the development of our windfarm, signalling the start of turbine installation.
“East Anglia ONE will soon be producing clean, renewable energy for the UK, helping to meet the nation’s carbon reduction targets.
“The fabrication of the blades from Siemens Gamesa’s facility in Hull further demonstrates our commitment to spending over 50 percent of the project investment in the UK, ensuring the benefits of East Anglia ONE are felt across the country.”
Following production at the £160 million Green Port factory, the blades will be shipped down the coast to Great Yarmouth, where the turbine components will be pre-assembled following a £5 million co-investment to prepare Peel Ports Great Yarmouth for construction and installation activities.
Andrew Elmes, Project Manager for Siemens Gamesa, commented: “We are proud to work alongside ScottishPower Renewables in delivering clean energy for the future. The East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm is a world-leading project to be a part of, providing a significant boost to the UK economy and it’s extra special to be able to support it from our amazing factory in Hull.”
This announcement follows ScottishPower Renewables’ £25 million investment in the Port of Lowestoft with the construction of a start-of-the-art operations and maintenance building. The base, at Associated British Ports’ Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, will see 100 full-time employees manage the day-to-day operations and maintenance activities for East Anglia ONE.
East Anglia ONE is the first of four offshore windfarms ScottishPower Renewables is developing in the region. For more information about East Anglia ONE visit: www.spreastanglia.co.uk