Wind farm signs grid connection deal

An engineering firm has signed a £66 million deal to deploy its energy efficient technology to connect a wind farm to the national grid.

The Greater Gabbard wind farm, owned by Airtricity, will be connected to a land-based substation and grid point by Siemens power transmission equipment.

Siemens is also providing 14 wind turbines, each of which has a 3.6MW rating, to the 500MW project.

The wind farm is being developed by Airtricity and engineering and construction firm Fluor and will be built in two phases, Inner Gabbard and The Galloper sandbanks.

Siemens will build two substations in the Outer Thames Estuary which will collect the power generated by the two areas and transmit it to a 132Kv substation in Sizewell Village.

"Siemens Energy has a unique wind power portfolio. Not only do we manufacture and supply high-tech wind turbines, we also efficiently connect wind farms to the grid. This includes carrying out the necessary preliminary network studies," said Udo Niehage, chief executive officer of the Power Transmission Division of the Siemens Energy Sector.

When completed in 2011, the Greater Gabbar project will be the world's largest offshore wind farm. However, the London Array will generate twice that (1GW) when completed.

The government has set a target of ten per cent of all energy coming from renewable sources and the London Array could provide ten per cent of that requirement.

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