Thanet Offshore Wind Project

The Thanet Offshore Wind Project is wind farm which is under construction 7 miles (11 km) off Margate on the North Kent coast in the United Kingdom. It will cover 13.5 square miles (35 km²), and have a capacity of 300 MW. [ [http://www.warwickenergy.com/thanet.htm Thanet Offshore Wind Project, at Warwick Energy website] ] . Thanet is one of 15 Round 2 wind projects announced by the Crown Estate in January 2004. The project will cover an area of 35 km2, with 500m between turbines and 800m between the rows. Average water depth where the WTGs will be installed is 20-25m. Planning permission for the project was granted on 18 December 2006. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/6188133.stm "Offshore wind farms get go-ahead", BBC News, 2006-12-18] ]

The Thanet project is expected to have a total capacity of up to 300 MW which, on average, is sufficient to supply approximately 240,000 homes per year with green energy. The project will thus make a significant contribution to the Government’s national and regional renewable energy targets.

Construction

Two sub-sea transmission cables are proposed, which will run from an offshore substation within the wind farm connecting to an existing onshore substation in Richborough, Kent. Operation and maintenance (O&M) of the WTGs will be carried out under an O&M Agreement with Vestas, while a separate maintenance agreement with SLP Energy is being considered to cover the WTG foundations.

Financial Structure

The Thanet scheme is expected to be project financed, although is still awaiting financial close. Thanet Offshore Wind Ltd (TOW), the project company is owned by hedge fund Christofferson, Robb & Co. It was purchased from a group of sponsors led by Warwick Energy Ltd. [http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Funding_Arrangements_Secured_For_Construction_of_UK_Thanet_Offshore_Wind_Farm/4406f044.aspx] [http://www.ijonline.com/GenV2/Secured/DisplayArticle.aspx?ArticleID=42975]

Current Status

The development was due to be in place by 2008. Vestas were chosen as the preferred turbine supplier in July 2006, and SLP were chosen as preferred supplier for the foundations in September 2006. The project is delayed by a number of issues including problems with Vestas who temporarily withdrawn their V90 offshore model from the market in 2007 following gearbox problems. In February 2008 Vestas announced the V90-3 would be re-released for sales starting from May 2008 [ [http://www.vestas.com/files//Filer/EN/Investor/Company_announcements/2008/080218-MFKUK-11.pdf "V90-3.0 MW offshore wind turbine back on the market again", Vestas Press Release 18th Feb 2008] ]

ee also

* London Array
* Wind power in the United Kingdom

References


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