The transmission link is part of an expansion of the Thornton Bank wind farm. In the first phase of its development, six wind turbines with a capacity of 30 megawatts (MW) were built and temporarily connected to the mainland by ABB. The second and third phases of the project involve adding 48 wind turbines to the wind farm and permanently connecting all three phases, taking its overall capacity to 325 MW.
ABB will be responsible for the system engineering, design, supply and commissioning of the offshore substation and the platform that will house it as well as the underwater and land-based cable systems.
“Linking renewable energy sources to the grid is a key component in the effort to balance the growing need for electricity with climate change concerns,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB has the technologies, domain competence and experience to support customers like C-Power in achieving these goals.”
The wind turbines will be connected via underwater medium-voltage cables to the offshore transformer station where the voltage will be boosted to 150 kilovolts (kV) and connected to the mainland grid. The electricity will be fed into the grid at the Slijkens high-voltage substation located at Bredene, about 3 km inland.
Scheduled to be operational in 2013, the wind farm is expected to avoid CO2 emissions of 450,000 tons per year compared to the most efficient gas-powered power plants. The wind farm is expected to generate 1,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 600,000 people in Belgium.