The Group, which consisted of representatives from Changhua County and industry leaders from the engineering, finance and power generation communities, met with Northland Power, Yushan Energy, ODE and leaders from Barrow Council to discuss the impact that the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm had on the Barrow community before visiting the Operations Support Base and travelling offshore to view the wind farm.
ODE was the principle engineering contractor for the Ormonde wind farm and is now closely involved with the development of the Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm in the waters off Changhua County, Taiwan, for developers Northland Power and Yushan Energy.
The Taiwanese visitors had a chance to learn about the construction of the offshore wind farm, its support base and how the operation and maintenance aspects of the wind farm have benefited the local economy during and following the construction period.
The Hai Long development is many times larger than the Ormonde development but many of the challenges and opportunities are the same. Like Ormonde, Hai Long will be using jacket technology for foundations and where Ormonde was the first wind farm to use 5mw turbines, Hai Long will also be using industry-leading turbine technology.
The delegation found other similarities in the projects with regard to the investment in port facilities, today Barrow’s Ramsden Dock is the centre for operations and maintenance support for four offshore wind farms but a tidal range of over ten metres and harbour walls dating from the late 1800’s posed challenges during construction. The solution of a floating pontoon that does not transfer load to the aged sea walls is one that may find an application in the ports and harbours of Changhua County.
Peter Godfrey, ODE Managing Director, said “It’s been tremendously useful to revisit Ormonde and showcase the engineering required both on and offshore to make an offshore wind farm a success for the developer and local community. Barrow council, Vattenfall, the current operator of Ormonde and of course the DIT have been very helpful in making it possible to share the lessons learned from this development”.
Ian Hatton, who previously was with Eclipse Energy, the developer of Ormonde, and is now CEO of Yushan Energy, agreed “The Hai Long project that we are undertaking with Northland Power in the Taiwan Straits is a multi-billion pound investment into the renewable infrastructure of Taiwan. It’s easy to get caught up in detail of building the project, but it’s not until you return to a project such as Ormonde that you see the benefits brought to the local community in terms of ongoing investment and jobs. I hope this is what the delegation takes away from their visit to Barrow”.
Sean McDermott, General Manager, Northland Power Development Co. Ltd., Taiwan, added “We were very excited to work with Yushan Energy and ODE to host the delegation from Taiwan to visit Barrow and learn about the scale and positive impact offshore wind development can have on industry and communities. Taiwan has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, and these sort of visits and exchanges help Taiwan prepare to fully harness this potential. With our partners, we look forward to continuing to contribute to that process”.