The Rampion offshore wind project will generate 400MW of renewable power.
The project is designed for an operational life of 25 years. Credit: Carillion.
The wind farm will feature 116 V112-3.45 MW wind turbines. Credit: MHI Vestas Offshore Wind.
The Rampion offshore wind farm is expected to be completed by 2018. Credit: JDR Cable Systems.

Rampion Offshore Wind Project is being developed in the English Channel, 13km off the coast of Sussex, in south-east England. The project is being developed by EON and the UK Green Investment Bank.

To be spread over 72km², the wind farm will have an initial capacity to generate 400MW of electricity, which will be sufficient to power up to 290,000 homes.

The project will be jointly owned by EON (50.1%), UK Green Investment Bank (25%) and Enbridge (24.9%). EON will invest approximately £1.3bn ($2bn), UK Green Investment Bank will invest £236m ($370m) and Enbridge will invest £370m ($570m) into the project. The wind farm is expected to have an operational life of 25 years.

The project is expected to create between 250 and 300 jobs during the three-year offshore construction phase, while 100 people will be employed in the onshore cable route construction and between 40 and 60 jobs will be created for the onshore substation construction.

The wind farm will further generate 65 permanent jobs, at the operations and maintenance base, when fully operational.

Rampion offshore wind project background

The Crown Estate awarded the exclusive right for the development of the Rampion wind project to EON in January 2010. The proposed project received approval from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in July 2014. It will be the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.

The final layout increased the distance between the closest turbine and the Heritage Coast two-fold and decreased the field of view by a third when compared to the original layout.

The layout averts the ‘9miler’ dredging fishing area as well as anchorage and straight passage of the Shoreham Port.

Rampion wind farm make-up and construction

The wind farm will be equipped with 116 Vestas V112-3.45MW wind turbines of 3.45MW capacity each. The turbines will be installed at a minimum distance of 750m from each other and connected by means of inter-array cables. Each turbine will have a hub height of 84m and total height of 140m to blade tip.

An operations and maintenance base for the project will be constructed at Newhaven port. It will include office space, equipment storage and vessel mooring facilities. The project will also include an offshore substation and an export cable path.

Following the receipt of approval to begin construction in May 2015, the onshore construction for the substation began in June 2015. The installation of turbine foundations was expected to begin in January 2016. The offshore construction is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Access points will be constructed to allow the construction of a haul road along the cable route.

Contractors involved with the offshore wind project

“To be spread over 72km², the wind farm will have an initial capacity to generate 400MW of electricity that will be sufficient to supply for up to 290,000 homes.”

EON is responsible for the construction, operations and maintenance as well as energy management services of the wind farm.

ABB was awarded a turnkey contract to provide onshore substation as well as power infrastructure for the offshore platform of the wind farm in June 2015. The contractual scope includes the delivery of the onshore substation, including high-voltage air-insulated switchgear (AIS), gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), transformers and substation automation as well as control and protection systems.

ABB will also provide medium-voltage switchgear, power transformers and protection and control systems for the offshore platform as well as two new switchgear bays with control and protection equipment for the National Grid’s substation at Bolney.

JDR Cable Systems was awarded a contract to supply subsea cabling technology and services for the wind farm in May 2015. The contract includes the supply of cable cleats, connectors, hang-offs, cable protection system and 142km of 36kV inter array cables.

Carillion was awarded a contract for civil engineering and cable installation. The onshore cabling works are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind was contracted to supply and install the turbines. Fugro was contracted for the installation and burial of 122 inter array cables, which will be performed in two phases between 2016 and 2017.