Eon back to piling work at Rampion after break for fish breeding season

Eon recommenced piling work this week, ready to install foundations for its planned 116-turbine wind farm 13km off the Sussex coast at Rampion.

Piling work had to stop on the 400MW wind farm earlier this year for the black bream spawning season to close. The company also announced that two unexploded ordnance (UXO) devices will be destroyed over the summer in controlled explosions. 

The first 20 monopile foundations, each weighing between 500 and 800 tonnes depending on water depth, have already been installed and over the next four to five months two jack up barges – the MPI Discovery and Pacific Orca -­ will help install the remaining 96 foundations, by using a 1,000 tonne crane to lift each foundation upright before being lowered and piled into the sea bed.

Chris Tomlinson, Eon development manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “Over the last few months, our highly skilled team has continued to prepare the site for foundation installation, progressing with boulder relocation and unexploded ordnance surveys.  We are now pleased to be entering the next stage of piling and we’ll now work towards installing the remainder of the foundations by the end of this year, in preparation for turbine installation to begin in 2017.”

The two unexploded bombs, discovered earlier this year 3km offshore along the export cable route and thought to date from WWII will be disposed of in a controlled explosion. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave permission for the disposal, which will require a 1km radius safety exclusion zone for commercial and recreational sea users during the event.

The company said work was going well on the 27km onshore underground cable route, which will transport the power to the planned substation at Twineham, with 60% of the ducting installation now complete. Eon is using horizontal directional drilling, a trenchless method of installing underground ducting and cabling, under the railway just north of Brooklands, the River Adur and A283 and the A27. Similar work is now planned on the final drill site, to cross the beach and the A259.

The 400MW 116 turbine project is being built 13km off the Sussex coast by Eon, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge. The project is due to be completed in 2018.