Inch Cape offshore substation assembly and fit-out kicks-off at Wallsend yard

The assembly and fit-out of the offshore substation platform and jacket foundation for the 1.1 gigawatt (GW) Inch Cape Offshore Wind has now kicked off at the Smulders yard in Wallsend, Newcastle.

A consortium of Siemens Energy and Iemants, a Smulders subsidiary, is responsible for the delivery of the offshore substation for the Scottish project located 15 kilometres off the Angus coast. Siemens Energy is also responsible for the design and construction of the project’s onshore substation in Cockenzie, East Lothian

The work at the Wallsend yard will include the fit-out and assembly of the platform, which will use Siemens Energy’s Offshore Transformer Module (OTM®) technology, and its jacket foundation.

A team of more than 250 local employees will work on the project which will take approximately 18 months to complete, before transportation by sea for installation at the wind farm site expected in 2025.

Work has already started on Inch Cape’s 2.6 hectare onshore substation, located on the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station and in close proximity to the existing transmission network connection.

Inch Cape is owned by Inch Cape Offshore Wind Limited, a joint venture company held equally by Red Rock Power and ESB.

Topside deck load-in at Smulders’ Wallsend yard, Newcastle, UK

Screening opinion received from Marine Directorate on temporary cofferdam

Inch Cape has received the screening opinion from the Marine Directorate confirming the application to use a temporary cofferdam during the installation of the export cable would not need an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The project team applied for a screening opinion having found that a temporary cofferdam may be required for additional works at the Cockenzie landfall site and for the installation of its export cables. A cofferdam would provide a safe working area and protection for the works set to take place within the intertidal zone.

Full details of the proposal as well as the feedback from the Marine Directorate can be found in the published Screening Opinion under the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017h.

The next steps for the process will be the submissions of an application for a marine licence for the works before the end of 2023.

The pre-application public consultation on the temporary cofferdam has concluded however further consultation will be carried out with statutory stakeholders through the application process.

This screening opinion follows two other approvals received by the project from the Scottish Ministers in 2023 including a variation to the offshore transmission works marine licence received in August and a variation to the Section 36 consent and generating station marine licence received in June 2023.

An application for a new marine licence for additional landfall works was also submitted to the Marine Directorate in August 2023