Statoil officially opens the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Operations Centre in Great Yarmouth today as part of the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.
The former warehouse on the south bank of the river harbour has been completely redeveloped to accommodate offices and a dedicated 24/7 control room to manage the operations and maintenance of the £1.5 billion Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm. Once into operation in 2017 more than 70 people will be working full time with operation and maintenance of the wind farm at the onshore base or at the offshore site.
Today’s opening event will also incorporate the naming of the wind farm’s purpose built 84-metre service operations vessel, Esvagt Njord. The vessel marks a new approach to operations and maintenance with accommodation for up to 40 wind turbine technicians who will live on the ship and walk to work on the turbines via a special gangway system.
The Head of Statoil Wind Operations UK Rune Rønvik is very pleased with reaching this milestone: “The location for the O&M base is ideal and we have a purpose built office ideal for our operations. In a wider perspective Statoil may serve other wind farms from this Great Yarmouth base. Already it has been made a principle decision to provide Hywind Scotland – the new pilot wind farm of floating wind turbines currently under construction for installation off the east coast of Scotland – with technical O&M support and control room services from here.”
Rune Rønvik is also pleased with the new vessel: “We are the first offshore windfarm in the UK using a service operations vessel in regular operations and maintenance. We believe this is a solution for the future as the wind farms get bigger and are located further from shore”.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm can supply more than 410,000 UK homes. The 402MW offshore wind farm will be located some 20 miles off the coast of the seaside town of Cromer in North Norfolk.
Statoil is developing the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm and will continue as its operator when it starts generating electricity in early 2017.