ABB wins $55 million submarine AC power cable contract in the UK

High-voltage power cables to connect Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm with UK national grid

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, located off the coast of Norfolk, will be capable of producing enough electricity to power more than 400,000 UK homes annually, according to ABB.. The turbines will be located in waters 18-25 meters deep on a 55-square-kilometer site situated 32 kilometers (km) off the coast of the seaside town of Cromer. The wind farm, with an installed capacity of about 400 MW, will produce enough ‘green’ energy to displace emissions of carbon dioxide by up to 19 million tonnes over its 25-year lifetime, ABB claims.

Under the terms of the deal, ABB will design and supply two 132-kV, three-core AC submarine cables, each 42 km in length, running from the wind farm’s offshore substation to Weybourne Hope, where they will connect to the onshore cables. The submarine cables will be manufactured at ABB’s high-voltage cable factory in Karlskrona, Sweden. Delivery will commence in 2016.

Electricity generated by the wind farm will be brought to shore via a seabed cable at Weybourne Hope, some 5 km west of the coastal town of Sheringham. From there, an underground cable will be laid to carry the electricity to Necton, where a purpose-built substation will enable it to be transmitted into the national grid.

Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division, said offshore wind is a growing renewable energy resource, with Europe accounting for around 70 per cent of new offshore wind generation capacity. Transporting electricity from offshore wind farms to the shore and then integrating it into the grid for supply to consumers are key elements. "This is a key focus area for ABB as we strive to balance the growing need for electricity while minimizing environmental impact," Facchin explained.

Bjørn Ivar Bergemo, asset manager of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, said placing this contract represents a major milestone in the development of the Dudgeon project. “These cables will be some of the longest offshore cables ordered so far for a UK offshore wind project." 

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power