EDS Group Secures Termination & Testing on First Ever 66kV Windfarm
High Voltage Engineering Specialist, EDS Group, has signed a contract with VBMS to carry out cable termination and testing at the EDF Energy Renewables (EDF ER) Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration Project in Northumberland.
The offshore wind farm, located 5.7km off the North East coast will initially comprise of 5 turbines, although it has consent for up to 15 turbines when fully constructed.
The project will enable EDF ER to trial new technology, for example, it will be the first UK offshore windfarm to be built upon gravity based foundations. Importantly, it will also be the first in the industry to use 66kV. This is a critical development which reflects the evolving technology that is leading to more cost-effective power generation, helping the industry goal of continuously reducing the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).
Use of this higher voltage requires a much higher skill set and an experienced company such as EDS were the obvious partner.
Ken Ritson, Group Managing Director said:
“This move towards 66kV requires a level of experience and competence higher than any that’s ever been required for array cable installation in the past. We have recently made a significant investment of over £0.75M on staff training, new innovation and equipment to ensure that we are best placed within the industry to meet the challenges ahead. We have completed over 5500 terminations and joints on voltages ranging from 33kV up to 500kV. Our zero fault record and reputation within the industry speaks for itself. We are delighted that the market leaders in subsea cable install have recognised our expertise and are therefore trusting us to assist them on the Blyth Project.
“VBMS’s decision to choose EDS out of many other suppliers confirms our standing in the marketplace as leaders in this field. We are delighted to be able to offer them our expertise and assistance on this very important milestone project.”
The windfarm is expected to be up and running by the 3rd quarter of 2017.