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Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions to connect Norfolk Boreas wind farm

Vattenfall has agreed a contract for Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions to deliver grid connection infrastructure for the 1.4GW Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm, 47 kilometres off the Norfolk coast.

Under the agreement with the Swedish utility, Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions will be responsible for the engineering, construction and installation of high voltage direct current (HVDC) onshore and offshore substations and connection to the National Grid.

The first phase of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone covering 725km² in the North Sea, it is hoped that the Norfolk Boreas facility will deliver first power from close to 150 turbines in 2027.

Construction is expected to begin next year subject to regulatory approvals, with Vattenfall’s final investment decision expected during the second quarter of 2023.

Its forecast that the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone will produce renewable energy for more than four million households and save approximately six million tonnes of carbon dioxide once complete.

The 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard wind farm is being developed as part of phase two of the project and will share grid infrastructure with Norfolk Boreas.

Kenneth Simonsen, senior vice president of offshore wind at Aker Solutions, said that the development of Norfolk’s Offshore Wind Zone could require up to three HVDC platforms in succession.

“Developing state of the art HVDC technology like this and having such strong partners on board, underlines our position as one of Europe’s leading developers in offshore wind,” Helene Biström, head of business area wind at Vattenfall, added.

“We are very proud of this deal, which is an important step forward to fossil free living within one generation and a major opportunity for supply chain companies to contribute to one of the largest offshore wind zones in the world.”

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The announcement follows the award of a £2.5 million contract to J. Murphy & Sons to deliver early onshore cable installation works for the zone.

This will include site investigations and design optimisation activities – for example topology surveys, boreholes and small trial pits along the cable route to further understand ground conditions.

These awards come just over a year since then prime minister Boris Johnson increased Great Britain’s offshore wind production target by 10GW to 50GW – including 5GW of floating wind generation in deeper waters – as part of his strategy for energy security.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said this will be underpinned by planning reforms to cut the approval time for new offshore wind farms from four years to one.

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