Greater Gabbard wind farm

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Greater Gabbard Wind Farm
2013-02 windpark.JPG
Farm seen from a plane flying from Amsterdam to London
Greater Gabbard wind farm is located in North Sea
Greater Gabbard wind farm
Location of Greater Gabbard wind farm in the North Sea
Country England
Location Inner Gabbard and The Galloper banks
North Sea
Suffolk Coast
Coordinates 51°52′48″N 1°56′24″E / 51.88000°N 1.94000°E / 51.88000; 1.94000Coordinates: 51°52′48″N 1°56′24″E / 51.88000°N 1.94000°E / 51.88000; 1.94000
Status Operational
Commission date 2012
Owner(s) Scottish and Southern
RWE Npower Renewables
Wind farm
Distance from shore 23 km (14 mi)
Power generation
Units operational 140
Make and model Siemens Wind Power: SWT3.6–107
Nameplate capacity 504 MW
2013 output 1.8 TWh[1]
Turbines in harbour, waiting to be mounted. Red helicopter platform on top.
As seen from the Stena Line Harwich to Hook of Holland car ferry in 2014.

Greater Gabbard is a 504 MW wind farm on sandbanks 23 kilometres (14 mi) off the coast of Suffolk in England at a cost of £1.5 billion.[2] Onshore construction activities commenced in early July 2008 at Sizewell. It was completed on 7 September 2012 with all of the Siemens SWT3.6–107 turbines connected.[3]


The project was originally developed by Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited (GGOWL) which was a joint venture between Airtricity and Fluor. Airtricity was subsequently bought by Scottish and Southern Energy who have bought out Fluor's 50% stake for £40m which is expected to cost £1.3b. Fluor are now contracted to design, supply, installation and commissioning of the balance of the plant.[4] Scottish and Southern sold a 50% stake to RWE, the owners of Npower, in November 2008 for £308m.[5]

The project was given the go-ahead in May 2008 and work started in June.[6] In July 2011 erection of the turbines was two-thirds complete, with all the pile foundations installed.

In October 2009 Seajacks Ltd delivered its 7,000 tonne Leviathan vessel to Fluor Ltd which sailed to Harwich to prepare the hook-up and commissioning of an in-field substation and then installation of the turbines.[7] The first foundations were installed in autumn 2009 with the first of a total of 140 turbines installed in the spring 2010.[8] Electricity generation began on 29 December 2010 and construction was completed on 7 September 2012.[3] During April 2014 to March 2015 the wind farm produced 1.7 TWh, corresponding to a capacity factor of 39%.[9]

The wind farm may be seen by the public from the Stena Line Harwich to Hook of Holland car & passenger ferry, the route passing within a few kilometres.

Galloper extension[edit]

An extension of the project, called Galloper, was agreed in May 2013. The proposal was to add up to 140 turbines to the development, producing up to 504 MW of electricity. The wind farm was expected to be completed in 2017.[10][11] The project was being developed in partnership by RWE Innogy and SSE.[12]

In November 2013 the project capacity was reduced to 68 turbines producing 340 MW. In March 2014, SSE announced that it would be pulling out of the project.[12] In October 2014 RWE Innogy announced that it too was abandoning the project,[13] but in December the company revealed that it was still seeking potential investment partners.[14]

Greater Gabbard specifications[edit]

  • Number of turbines: 140[2][15]
  • Power rating: 504 MW[15]
  • Load factor: 39.6% (estimated)[15]
  • Estimated output: 1.75 TWh per year[15]
  • Cost: £1512 million[2] (£650 million not counting grid connection)[16]
  • Cost of grid connection: £317 million[17]
  • Location: offshore, 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Sizewell on the Inner Gabbard and The Galloper sandbanks[4]
  • Water Depth: 20m – 32m [1]


On 12 November 2009, a man was killed and a woman injured after a chain broke and the two people were hit with pieces of the chain. Police responded to the incident, and an investigation was launched. The casualties were on board a tugboat, the Typhoon.[18]

On 21 May 2010, a man died and another suffered serious injuries following an accident at Parkeston Quay, Harwich. A Siemens engineer from Norresundby, Denmark, died in the incident. A 43-year-old German national was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital. The incident happened at about 7.50 am while loading a wind turbine blade on the vessel Seajack.[19][20] Siemens and Fluor were ordered to pay £1 million for the incident.[21]

In September 2013 remedial work was begun on the export cables close to shore as the cables were not buried sufficiently deeply.[22] The work which was meant to take three weeks was only finished in September 2014.[22] The work caused problems for local fishermen who asked the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm for a disruption payment.[22] A spokesman for SSE denied that the work was responsible for the snagging of fishing nets.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RUK Connect Event Lowestoft, 2014
  2. ^ a b c Greater Gabbard 4c . Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Greater Gabbard completed and operational". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Scottish and Southern Energy: Greater Gabbard project information". 
  5. ^ Milner, Mark (4 November 2008). "SSE sells half a North Sea windfarm for £300m". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Greater Gabbard Wind Project Gets Go-ahead". 
  7. ^ "Arrival of Seajacks Leviathan Liftboat Marks Start of Contract at World's Largest Offshore Wind Development". 
  8. ^ "Lowestoft wind farm project gathering pace". Lowestoft Journal. 2 November 2009. 
  9. ^ Events on Greater Gabbard 4C. Retrieved April 2016.
  10. ^ Galloper offshore wind farm gets green light, Inside Government, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  11. ^ Suffolk coast Galloper offshore windfarm given go-ahead, BBC News, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  12. ^ a b "SSE maps Galloper exit route". renews. 5 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Suffolk: Jobs blow as Galloper wind farm project is shelved". East Anglian Daily Times. 23 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Talks could see revival of axed Galloper windfarm project". East Anglian Daily Times. 30 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  16. ^ Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Project, United Kingdom Power Technology. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  17. ^ "Balfour Beatty plc & views – News – Balfour Beatty reaches financial close for the £317m Greater Gabbard OFTO (27 November, 2013)". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Harwich: Tragedy at wind farm site". Harwich and Manningtree Standard. 13 November 2009. 
  19. ^ "Fatal incident at Harwich Port". Essex Police. 
  20. ^ Fatal accident in Harwich, 21 May 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c d "Suffolk: Fishermen’s concerns due to be raised at wind farm meeting today". East Anglian Daily Times. 2 September 2014. 

External links[edit]