An extension to the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm has started operating this month, marking a new stage for wind energy in the UK, and in fact the world.
The new turbines installed at the site are some of the largest in the world, with each of the 32 new turbines standing taller than the Gherkin skyscraper in London. This step forward with new technology is helping to make the offshore wind sector more competitive on price, by lowering the costs of energy generation.
Dong Energy, the company operating the wind farm, revealed that just one of the new turbines at Burbo Bank can generate more power than the whole of the Vindeby site - the first offshore wind farm the company constructed 25 years ago.
Henrik Poulsen, Chief Executive at the energy firm, commented: “Pushing innovation in this way reduces the cost of electricity from offshore wind and will help to advance the offshore wind industry across the world.”
These giant turbines are not only a more efficient way to generate electricity, but they’re cheaper to install because you need to construct fewer of them to deliver the same level of output. When it comes to offshore wind, creating the foundations for the turbines can be an expensive business, so minimising that will make a difference.
Liverpool isn’t the only place in the UK where new wind turbines have started operating recently. The BBC highlighted the latest turbines installed at the Dudgeon wind farm off the Norfolk coast, noting that once this wind farm is completed it will provide enough power for nearly 500,000 homes.
This project is noteworthy because it’s using the first turbines assembled in Hull at the Siemens factory.
Offshore wind power is receiving significant backing from the UK’s government at a time when many other renewable energy sources appear to have fallen out of favour. As such, it’s vital that the industry continues to deliver the cost savings being demanded of it, as well as ensuring that health and safety standards are maintained to the highest level.
There are many dangers for those who work in this environment, with the elements, the scale of the turbines and the distance from shore and proper medical treatment among the considerations that companies in this sector need to be aware of and manage.
The risks involved for workers were highlighted last month, when a tragedy hit a Scottish wind farm. All work at the site was halted while Scottish Police conducted their investigation.
Even if you have thorough emergency response plans in place, you need to make sure all your staff are properly trained, such as through GWO working at height courses, and that their skills, competencies and knowledge are regularly refreshed through training refreshers.
If you want to make sure that you’ve got the best training in place for your staff and are meeting all the necessary requirements for their safety, contact us today about how we can help with planning and training at your organisation.