DONG Energy has awarded an additional contract to Atkins to design five offshore substations for its Race Bank offshore wind development project in the UK.

Previously, Atkins was awarded a contract by DONG Energy to design the substations for its Walney and Burbo extension projects.

The Race Bank project is located in the Greater Wash area approximately 27km off the east coast of England. The project has a capacity of up to 580MW.

The offshore wind farm has received all major approvals from the UK authorities for construction and operation. Construction on the wind farm is set to commence in 2017.

DONG Energy Wind Power UK country manager Benj Sykes said that the company has a tough target to cut the cost of offshore wind by 35-40% by 2020.

Sykes said: "We are doing this through standardising the building of a wind farm. Atkins is working with us to provide a design for five substations that can be applied to three of our projects.

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"This will enable a production line approach to fabrication, rather than a bespoke solution each time and will reduce costs without compromising safety and reliability. It becomes more like buying off the shelf than ordering a unique product and that brings cost savings."

In December 2013, DONG Energy acquired 100% ownership interest in the Race Bank offshore wind development project from Centrica for £50m. Extensive geotechnical and geophysical investigations of the Race Bank site have already been carried out.

Image: 3D model of an offshore substation. Photo: courtesy of Atkins.