Avangrid Renewables Team Visits UK Offshore Wind Project

(L-R) Chris Leach, Brian Benito Jr., Craig Poff

(L-R) Chris Leach, Brian Benito Jr., Craig Poff

Keith Morrison, Craig Poff, and Brian Benito Jr. of Avangrid Renewables’ U.S. offshore group recently traveled to the UK to visit colleagues at ScottishPower Renewables working on East Anglia ONE. The trip’s goal was to provide the Boston-based team with real world experience as they begin to ramp up efforts to develop Kitty Hawk, Avangrid Renewables’ first 100% owned offshore wind farm.

Getting the opportunity to meet face-to-face with folks that have been on countless calls and emails, while also seeing the first few turbines being installed off the shores of East Anglia, was an experience that will benefit the Kitty Hawk Project team. The Kitty Hawk Project off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia is in the early stages of development.

he tour began with a safety induction (and some tea!) at the onshore construction headquarters in Bramford, England. Here the team was provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and an overview of the onshore substation and 23-mile cable route. Following a tour of the substation and learning about the unique challenges wildlife can have on the commissioning process (a pigeon decided to take up residence and lay eggs under a transformer fan), the team was driven to Bawdsey to observe the horizontal directional drill landfall off a beautiful high bank coastline.

The team then headed north to Great Yarmouth to prepare for the second day of the tour. The team headed into the North Sea aboard the crew transfer vessel “Defender.” After approximately an hour and a half, the team laid eyes on the first under construction offshore turbines they had ever seen. After stopping at the offshore substation for an equipment transfer, Defender took the team to the vessel was engaged in installing the fourth of 102 seven-megawatt turbines.

East Anglia While Under Construction

East Anglia While Under Construction

Back on shore, the team was escorted through the sizable operation and maintenance facility. The building will eventually hold hundreds of ScottishPower employees tasked with maintaining East Anglia ONE, 1N, 2, & 3 which when combined will eventually generate more than 3.5 gigawatts.

The third and final day of the tour culminated with the team touring the construction and logistics port. Seeing the turbines at sea, it was clear they are massive, but standing next to a blade, nacelle, or transition piece on the ground is even more impressive.

The delegation ended the week with a day at ScottishPower Renewables headquarters in Glasgow, meeting many of the people supporting the development of the Kitty Hawk Project. Then it was time to head home and work on the future of offshore wind in the U.S.