Offshore construction

In late 2015 work began offshore to prepare the seabed for the installation of the foundations and cables.

This activity included comprehensive fish ecology, benthic and other surveys, a boulder relocation campaign and the controlled detonation of two unexploded WWII bombs.

A construction project management facility was built at Newhaven Port utilising temporary free standing modular buildings and offshore pontoons and quayside works were undertaken in preparedness for the arrival of the crew transfer vessels.

It was February 2016 when the first of the monopile foundations was installed offshore by the 139m jack-up vessel MPI Discovery. Work was paused from mid-April to July in accordance with consenting conditions, to protect black bream nesting in the Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone. From July, a second heavy-lift jack-up vessel joined the project, the 161m long Pacific Orca. Together the vessels completed the foundation installation in November 2016.

Installation of the array cables, those connecting strings of turbines to the offshore substation, began in late 2016 and was completed in mid 2017. The installation and jointing of the 16 kilometre offshore export cables was also underway in late 2016, with works continuing into 2017.

The installation of the wind turbine generators started in March 2017, with the MPI Discovery once again returning to the site. In June, MPI Adventure joined the construction team to also work on the installation of the turbines. The jack-up vessels carried the components for eight turbines each trip to the site, and a turbine takes approximately a day to install.

The turbine installation was complete in September 2017.

Commissioning work continued into 2018, with the windfarm becoming fully operational at the end of 2018.