A multi-million pound scheme to quadruple the size of an offshore wind farm has moved into its construction phase.
The first of 32 foundations has just been installed at DONG Energyï¿½s Burbo Bank extension in Liverpool Bay, which will increase four-fold, from 10 to 40 square kilometres.
The Danish firm are adding 32 more turbines to the existing 25, which lie 12.2km off Point of Ayr, in a project reported to be worth ï¿½450 million.
Installation of the first mono-pile foundation has just been finished. It was installed by Van Oordï¿½s heavy-lift vessel ï¿½Svanenï¿½ ï¿½ a large floating crane standing 100 metres tall and able to lift more than 8,000 tonnes.
The mono-piles provide the base for the eight megawatt turbines which will be put in later this year.
The project will involve the construction of 32 turbines, marking the first time this size of turbine will be commercially deployed.
DONG Energy has said the site is ï¿½ideal for an offshore wind farm,ï¿½ as it features relatively low water depths, good wind resource and suitable seabed conditions.
Over the next few months work will continue to install foundations, prepare for installation of the offshore substation (a buried sea cable which will come ashore between Rhyl and Prestatyn) and lay the cables that will connect the turbines to the national grid connection point at the Bodelwyddan onshore substation in St Asaph.
Then, later in the autumn, work will begin on the installation of the turbines.
The wind farm will have a capacity of 258MW, generating enough electricity to power approximately 230,000 homes, and is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of 2017.
Situated approximately seven kilometres north of the Wirral, the Burbo Bank extension site is one of four offshore wind farms that DONG Energy is currently constructing in the UK.
The RYA acknowledges the Government's desire to promote renewable energy, however we are keen to ensure the navigational safety of recreational boating around the coast.
We have successfully stopped developers from establishing permanent operational safety or exclusion zones around wind farms that would prevent recreational craft from making passage through them.
We continue to constantly monitor the developments in Round 3 wind farms and Round 2 extensions ï¿½ assessing their potential impact on recreational boating.