Work has begun on a £2bn project to deliver power from the Triton Knoll wind farm to over 800,000 UK homes.
A ‘breaking-of-ground’ ceremony took place on Monday directly on the route of the 57km high voltage underground export cable at the main onshore cable site offices (TCC12) off the A16 near Stickney.
The ceremony marked the official start of a two-year onshore construction programme for the 860MW project. It is being managed by innogy, the majority equity shareholder of Triton Knoll on behalf of partners J-Power and Kansai Electric Power.
UK firms J Murphy & Sons Ltd and Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd (STDL) have been contracted to build the project, and are already carrying out initial works including the establishment of site offices, temporary construction compounds and bell-mouths at key points along the route.
Triton Knoll project director Julian Garnsey was joined by Murphy CEO John Murphy, and STDL’s Project Director Phil Manley, to officially cut the turf on the onshore cable route.
Julian said: “Triton Knoll construction is officially up and running. This moment is the culmination of years of planning, engineering, consultation, and cooperation with our supply chain and stakeholders to produce a state of the art wind farm , which benefits both local and regional economies.
“Triton Knoll is committed to supporting local and regional jobs, skills development and, through our investments, the further strengthening of the UK’s already world-beating offshore industry.
“As we continue to progress through the weeks and months ahead, we and all our contractors look forward to working even more closely with our neighbouring communities, so that local people are aware of our works and how they are progressing.”
Onshore construction presents some significant engineering challenges as Triton Knoll installs over 57km of underground electrical export cable below ground in Lincolnshire.
The route starts at the landfall location north of Anderby Creek, where the onshore and offshore cables connect. It runs to a new substation being constructed near Bicker, and then to the existing National Grid Bicker Fen Substation where the electricity from the offshore wind farm will ultimately connect into the grid.
Over 300 individual directional drills – a record for a UK infrastructure project - will ensure the onshore cables can be installed without obstructing any roads, highways, rivers or drains.
Murphy’s CEO John Murphy, said: “The cable route presents an exciting engineering challenge for us and we’ve worked diligently and intelligently to create better engineered solutions that will allow us deliver it with minimum disruption. ”
Work on the new onshore substation will start early in 2019, with Siemens constructing a new facility close to the existing electrical substation near Bicker. Work is already underway to construct a new bellmouth entry point and 3.8km access road to the new substation construction site to ensure that construction traffic can avoid use of smaller local roads.
Phil Manley, Project Director, Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd, said: “This nationally significant project will have a vital role in creating energy security for the UK. Our main offshore work will begin in 2019, with work already underway onshore to build a new access road to the substation construction site. We anticipate a number of supply chain contracts will be available for UK supply chain companies, with details to be announced in the coming months.”