We’re all familiar at Cleveleys with the Offshore Windfarms, with the graceful sails turning against some fantastic sunsets.
Did you know that part of their power supply comes to shore at Cleveleys?
The 102 turbines of the Walney Offshore Windfarm are located approx 15km west of Barrow-in-Furness.
The first one was installed on 12 July 2010 and the windfarm can just be seen on the distant horizon – to the left of the larger Barrow turbines.
The windfarm was built in two phases – Walney 1 and Walney 2 – with 51 turbines in each phase, each one capable of generating 3.6MW of electricity and a total of 367.2MW which would be enough to power 320,000 homes.
The maximum height of the turbines is 150m from blade tip to sea level – 30m taller than the Barrow ones and only 8m (24′) shorter than Blackpool Tower!
In Spring 2011, a cable barge docked offshore at Cleveleys to lay the power connection or ‘export cable’ which joins Walney 2 to land.
It was laid in one piece underwater by a plough attached to the barge which placed the cable approx 2m deep into the seabed. It’s an armoured 132kv power cable, complete with a 48 core fibre optic cable which provides communication to the windfarm.
The cable comes ashore buried under the beach in front of Thornton Gate, where a cofferdam was constructed to enable the beach works to take place.
It continues in an underground trench through the highway on a route to Hillhouse Industrial Estate where a new sub-station was built (below) to transfer the power into the nearby National Grid at Stanah.
The open cut installation of the cable was done first, started in the late summer of 2010. The whole project was documented through this portal where people could follow weekly updates complete with photographs and information about was happening, and what was coming next.
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Visual impression of the comparative scale of the turbines against Blackpool Tower