Barrow offshore

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Information about Barrow offshore

Published on September 13, 2015

Author: SGhallab


1. Barrow Offshore Wind Farm Student ID: 9118077 Coursework submitted as part of MACE22491 Project Management School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering University of Manchester

2. Student ID: 9118077 2 Section 1 Goal and Scope The Barrow offshore wind farm (BOWF) is one of the first offshore wind farms built in the United Kingdom, it is located in the East Irish Sea near Barrow-in-Furness north-west of the UK (Centrica, 2003). The 10km2 wind farm, consists of 30 wind turbines each with a production capability of 3MW adding up to a nameplate capacity of 90MW (BERR, 2007). Turbines are manufactured by Vestas WS, turbine hub height is 75m, rotor diameter is 90m and the farm uses monopile foundation (Centrica Energy, 2014). Power is generated at 44kV which is stepped up to 132kV at an offshore substation before being redirected to an onshore substation via 27km of subsea cables where it enters the national grid (OFGEM, 2009). Annual production of the farm was estimated to be 305GW/h powering 65,000 households annually (Warwick Energy, 2002). BOWF was designed to operate for 20 years reducing CO2 emissions by 4 million tonnes over its lifetime (Centrica, 2006). In 2001, a planning application with an estimated budget of £100 million was made by Warwick Offshore Wind Ltd. and approvals were granted in March 2003 (Centrica, 2003). In September 2003, Warwick Offshore Wind Ltd. was acquired by Centrica Ltd., DONG Energy (DE) and Statkraft Energy, but is now a 50-50 joint venture between Centrica and DE under Barrow Offshore Wind Ltd. (Ernst & Young, 2011). The commissioning date announced was 20 November 2005 but the actual commissioning date when first power was generated was delayed by 6 months due to difficulties in monopile installation (DECC, 2008). The farm was operated by Vestas for the first five years of its lifetime; however DE became responsible for operations and maintenance from 2012 onwards. (Vestas, 2004). Section 2 Strategy and Rationale The need for carbon-free energy has become increasingly recognized by governments around the world in the past two decades. The UK government set a target to obtain 15% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020. The UK has Europe’s strongest technical offshore wind power potential reaching approximately 5000 TWh in 2030 based on wind speed data (EEA, 2009) and capital investment towards offshore wind power is expected to exceed £36 billion towards offshore energy by 2020 (RAB, 2008). Supporting the government’s 2020 vision and in an attempt to exploit this massive potential, the Crown Estate (owner of the seabed) began leasing areas of the seabed for the development of offshore wind farms, the first round of leasing started in December 2000 and successful applicants began technical and environmental studies. Among those who provided successful applications was Warwick Ltd. which prepared the initial proposal for Barrow offshore wind farm. Comparing DONG Energy’s mission to the government’s green energy aspirations, it was found that DONG Energy’s mission is to sustain market leadership and quadruple offshore power capacity whilst creating maximum financial value whereas the government plans to reach a capacity of 18 GW in 2020 compared to the UK’s current operational offshore capacity of 3.653MW (DECC, 2012). This created a win – win situation for both parties, and enabled close cooperation throughout the earlier stages of development, the project was also able to benefit from financial support mechanisms and incentives, reduced taxes and received £10M in grants from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) within the ‘Offshore wind capital grants scheme’ (BERR, 2007). The aforementioned information is evidence that the highly supportive business environment provided by the government significantly contributed to the overall success of the project. Section 3 Management of Risk The electrical infrastructure of BOWF can be considered a milestone as Barrow was the first offshore wind farm where an offshore high voltage substation was required in the UK. This brought up concerns because the integration of relatively large wind farms into electric grids was still a challenge at the time of construction and only three offshore substations were operational at that period (Yao & Liangzhong, 2010). In 2003, there were no

3. Student ID: 9118077 3 comparable offshore electrical installations to provide any guidance on the design of the electrical infrastructure (Grainger & Jenkins, 2002). Evidently, the risk associated with installing the substation would be significantly high and would therefore require very careful monitoring as inadequately designed electrical systems can result in revenue losses of as much as €7 million in the lifetime of a wind farm (Pechey et al, 2005). AREVA T&D won the contract to design the 12M€ substation and Mott MacDonald was appointed to coordinate the equipment design to the design of the platform on which it will be installed. Transmission Assets at BOWF were acquired by TC Barrow OFTO Ltd. in 2011 via OFGEM (electricity market regulator) in accordance with regulations requiring offshore wind farm owners to divest transmission assets to offshore transmission owners (OFTO) (KPMG, 2012) therefore the risk associated with the substation (part of transmission assets) was transferred to TC Barrow OFTO Ltd. upon the transfer of ownership of the transmission assets. Since very little was known about the effects of offshore wind farms on the environment, the wind farm had to comply with the conditions of the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA). The environmental impact of the wind farm during the construction phase and after during operation had to be identified. Since the wind farm uses the monopile foundation, pile driving operations had to take place; this resulted in the generation of underwater noise which was found to affect marine animals within 25km of the farm causing traumatic hearing loss and accumulated hearing damage from Noise Dose (Nedwell et al, 2003). The perceived level of noise for different marine species was measured and comparisons have been made between the numbers of the five most abundant marine species (fish populations) caught during the survey programme before and after construction of the farm (BOW,2007). Moreover, post-construction monitoring had to be undertaken, and studies were undertaken to investigate the effect of electromagnetic fields on fish populations, scour, monopile epifauna (aquatic animals living on the seabed/ submerged bodies) and birds (BOW, 2007). Surveys and appropriate monitoring methods were employed, the effect of the presence of the wind farm on each species was determined and conclusions were drawn accordingly indicating if any further action should be taken. No alarming results were found and further surveys have been scheduled to ensure compliance with FEPA throughout the lifetime of the farm. Section 4 Conclusions: evaluation of project success Although the project may have faced some setbacks in its earlier years delivering only 65% of the expected electric output, I believe that BOWF can be regarded as a milestone in the development of offshore wind farms in the UK despite being among the first relatively large offshore wind farms in the region. The project continues to deliver carbon- free energy to 65,000 homes annually as promised (Centrica Energy, 2014). BOWF has been able to achieve 87% of the actual annual production target in 2008 (DECC, 2008) with a capacity factor of 36.7% in 2008 (DECC, 2008) and 38.19 % in 2012 (LORC, 2012) compared to a 29.5% capacity factor average for all Round 1 wind farms (Crabtree, 2012). Judging its performance by comparing BOWF to Round 1 wind farms would verify that BOWF can be regarded as successful in terms of performance. The project also successfully served Centrica and DE’s ambitions to become “a major wind power player in Northern Europe” as stated by BOW Chairman and DE Executive VP Hans Jørgen Rasmusen (Centrica, 2013). BOWF is considered among the earliest successful projects on the government’s “2020 vision” roadmap and complements parallel activity by other European governments in the offshore wind sector. Reviewing the risks and challenges associated with BOWF’s unconventional electrical facilities, I was led to believe that the successful incorporation of the UK’s first offshore high voltage substation in BOWF is a certainly a remarkable accomplishment that directly led to establishing offshore substations as an achievable alternative to conventional electrical infrastructures contributing to the technological development of offshore wind sector in the UK and on an international scale.

4. Student ID: 9118077 4 References (10%) (BERR, 2007) Barrow Offshore Wind Farm - 1st Annual Report. (2007). 1st ed. [ebook] Department for Buisness Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Available at: http://www.wind-power- R%20report%20on%20Barrow%20Offshore%20Wind%20Farm%202007.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (BOW, 2007) Post Construction Monitoring Report. (2007). 1st ed. [ebook] Barrow Offshore Wind Ltd. Available at: ruction_Monitoring_Report-_Full_012009.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Centrica, 2003) Centrica Energy. (2013). News Release. Available: Last accessed 26th Oct 2014 (Centrica, 2006) Centrica Energy, (2006). Barrow Offshore News Release. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Centrica, 2013) Centrica Energy. (2013). News Release. Available: Last accessed 26th Oct 2014 (Centica, 2014) Centrica Energy, (2014). Barrow Key Facts. [online] Available at: http://Key Facts - Centrica [Accessed 25 Oct. 2014]. (Centrica Energy, 2014) Centrica Energy Renewables Project Portfolio 2014. (2014). 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Crabtree, 2012) Crabtree, C. J. (2012), Operational and Reliability Analysis of Offshore Wind Farms, European Wind Energy Association Annual Event. Copenhagen (DECC, 2008) Barrow Offshore Wind Farm, 2nd Annual Report - Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme. (2008). 1st ed. [ebook] DECC Department of Energy and Climate Change. Available at: http://www.wind-power- R%20report%20on%20Barrow%20Offshore%20Wind%20Farm%202008.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (DECC, 2012) UK Renewable Energy Roadmap Update 2012. (2012). 1st ed. [ebook] DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE. Available at: 13_UK_Renewable_Energy_Roadmap_Update_FINAL_DRAFT.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014].

5. Student ID: 9118077 5 (EEA, 2009) Europe's onshore and offshore wind energy potential - An assessment of environmental and economic constraints. (2009). 1st ed. [ebook] European Environment Agency. Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Ernst & Young, 2011) Barrow Offshore Transmission Assets - Ex Post Financial Cost Review. (2011). 1st ed. [ebook] Ernst & Young LLP. Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Grainger & Jenkins, 2002) Grainger, W. and Jenkins, N. (2002). OFFSHORE WIND FARM ELECTRICAL CONNECTION OPTIONS. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (KPMG, 2012) Offshore Transmission: An Investor Perspective. (2012). 1st ed. [ebook] KPMG. Available at: aninvestorperspective.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (LORC, 2012), (2012). Barrow Offshore Wind Farm | LORC Knowledge | Barrow Offshore Fact Sheet. [online] Available at: map/barrow [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Nedwell et al, 2003) Nedwell, J., Parvin, S., Edwards, B., Workman, R., Brooker, A. and Kynoch, J. (2003). Measurement and interpretation of underwater noise during construction and operation of offshore windfarms in UK waters. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (OFGEM, 2009) Preliminary Information Memorandum - Barrow Offshore Transmission Assets. (2009). 1st ed. [ebook] OFGEM, p.5. Available at: information-memorandum-pim.pdf [Accessed 25 Oct. 2014]. (Pechey et al, 2005) Pechey, J., Taylor, P., Dixon, R., Lawson, M. & Dinning, A. (2005). The role of medium voltage electrical system design in risk management for offshore wind farms. (RAB, 2008) How the UK can meet its target of 15% renewable energy. (2008). 1st ed. [ebook] Renewables Advisory Board. Available at: 0501131943_e____2020Vision.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014]. (Warwick Energy, 2002) Barrow Offshore Wind Farm - Non Technical Summary. (2002). 1st ed. [ebook] Warwick Energy Ltd. Available at: Technical_Summary.pdf [Accessed 25 Oct. 2014]. (Vestas, 2004) Vestas Stock Exchange Announcement. (2004). 1st ed. [ebook] Vestas. Available at: MKFUK-29.pdf [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014].

6. Student ID: 9118077 6 (Yao & Liangzhong, 2010) Yao, M. and Liangzhong, Y. (2010). Integration of large scale wind farm into electrical grids. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 26 Oct. 2014].

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