Greater Gabbard wind farm

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Greater Gabbard Wind Farm
Galloper windfarm.jpg
Part of Galloper wind farm, with turbines of Inner Gabbard visible behind
Location of Greater Gabbard wind farm in the North Sea
LocationInner Gabbard and The Galloper banks,
North Sea
Suffolk Coast
Coordinates51°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
Commission date2012
Owner(s)Scottish and Southern (50%)
RWE Npower Renewables (50%)
Wind farm
Distance from shore23 km (14 mi)
Power generation
Units operational140
Make and modelSiemens Wind Power: SWT3.6–107
Nameplate capacity504 MW
Annual net output1,800 GW·h (2013)[1]
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons
Turbines in harbour, waiting to be mounted; red helicopter platforms on top
As seen from the Stena Line Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry in 2014

Greater Gabbard is a 504 MW wind farm, built on sandbanks 23 kilometres (14 mi) off the coast of Suffolk in England at a cost of £1.5 billion. It was completed on 7 September 2012 with all of the Siemens SWT3.6–107 turbines connected.[2] Developed as a joint venture between Airtricity and Fluor, it is now jointly owned by SSE Renewables and RWE Renewables.

A 336 MW extension of the wind farm called Galloper was commissioned in April 2018.[3][4]


Development rights were secured from the Crown Estate in 2003.[5] 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 then bought out Fluor's 50% stake. Fluor were contracted to design, supply, install and commission the balance of the plant.[6] Scottish and Southern sold a 50% stake to RWE, the owners of Npower, in November 2008 for £308m.[7]

The project was given the go-ahead in May 2008 and work started in June.[8] 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.[9] The first foundations were installed in autumn 2009 with the first of a total of 140 turbines installed in the spring 2010.[10] Electricity generation began on 29 December 2010 and construction was completed on 7 September 2012.[2] During April 2014 to March 2015 the wind farm produced 1.7 TWh, corresponding to a capacity factor of 39%.[11]

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.[12][13] The project was developed in partnership by RWE Innogy and SSE.[14]

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.[14] In October 2014 RWE Innogy announced that it too was abandoning the project,[15] but in December the company revealed that it was still seeking potential investment partners.[16]

In October 2015 RWE Innogy secured the financing of the project with three other investors each taking 25% of the project: Macquarie Capital, UK Green Investment Bank and Siemens Financial Services. Siemens Wind Power was awarded the turbine supply contract to deliver 56 SWT-6.0-154 turbines.

At its September 2018 inauguration, Galloper is rated at 353 MW. It is owned by Innogy SE (25%), Siemens Financial Services (25%), Sumitomo Corporation (12.5%), ESB (12.5%) and a consortium managed by Green Investment Group and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (25%). Innogy SE led development and construction of the wind farm.[17]


Greater Gabbard wind farm is operated by SSE Renewables, a subsidiary of SSE plc, from a base in Lowestoft which opened in 2009.[5] Innogy SE operates the Galloper extension.[17] A robot scarecrow reduces dangerous levels of bird faeces on the offshore substation.[18]

The turbines can be seen from Stena Line's Harwich to Hook of Holland car and passenger ferry, which passes within a few kilometres of the turbines.


  • Number of turbines: 140[11][19]
  • Power rating: 504  MW[19]
  • Load factor : 39.6% (estimated)[19]
  • Estimated output: 1.75 TWh per year[19]
  • Cost: £1,512  million[11] (£650 million not counting grid connection)[20]
  • Cost of grid connection: £317 million[21]
  • Location: offshore, 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Sizewell on the Inner Gabbard and The Galloper sandbanks[6]
  • Water depth: 20–32m[11]

In 2011, the project was described as the world's largest offshore wind farm.[22]


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.[23]

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.[24][25] Siemens and Fluor were ordered to pay £1 million for the incident.[26]

In September 2013 remedial work was begun on the export cables close to shore as the cables were not buried sufficiently deeply.[27] The work which was meant to take three weeks was only finished in September 2014.[27] The work caused problems for local fishermen who asked the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm for a disruption payment.[27] A spokesman for SSE denied that the work was responsible for the snagging of fishing nets.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RUK Connect Event Lowestoft Archived 1 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 2014
  2. ^ a b "Greater Gabbard completed and operational". Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  3. ^ "24 Turbines Up at Galloper Offshore Wind Farm". Offshore Wind. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Full throttle for 353MW UK offshore wind farm - Energy Live News - Energy Made Easy". 3 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Greater Gabbard". SSE Renewables. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Scottish and Southern Energy: Greater Gabbard project information". Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  7. ^ Milner, Mark (4 November 2008). "SSE sells half a North Sea windfarm for £300m". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 24 November 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Greater Gabbard Wind Project Gets Go-ahead".
  9. ^ "Arrival of Seajacks Leviathan Liftboat Marks Start of Contract at World's Largest Offshore Wind Development". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Lowestoft wind farm project gathering pace". Lowestoft Journal. 2 November 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d Greater Gabbard Archived 5 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine 4c . Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  12. ^ Galloper offshore wind farm gets green light Archived 21 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Inside Government, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  13. ^ Suffolk coast Galloper offshore windfarm given go-ahead Archived 27 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
  14. ^ a b "SSE maps Galloper exit route". renews. 5 September 2014. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Suffolk: Jobs blow as Galloper wind farm project is shelved". East Anglian Daily Times. 23 October 2014. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Talks could see revival of axed Galloper windfarm project". East Anglian Daily Times. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  17. ^ a b Foxwell, David (27 September 2018). "innogy-led project sees another UK offshore windfarm inaugurated". Offshore Wind Journal. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  18. ^ Collins, Leigh (5 August 2020). "Noisy robot scarecrow prevents deluge of bird poo at offshore wind substation". Recharge. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d "Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm". Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  20. ^ Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Project, United Kingdom Archived 6 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine Power Technology. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  21. ^ "Balfour Beatty plc & views – News – Balfour Beatty reaches financial close for the £317m Greater Gabbard OFTO (27 November, 2013)". Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  22. ^ "The world's largest Offshore Wind Farm is taking shape at Greater Gabbard". Building Scotland. November 2011. Archived from world's largest Offshore Wind Farm is taking shape at Greater Gabbard.html the original Check |url= value (help) on 13 November 2011.
  23. ^ "Harwich: Tragedy at wind farm site". Harwich and Manningtree Standard. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 18 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  24. ^ "Fatal incident at Harwich Port". Essex Police. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  25. ^ Fatal accident in Harwich Archived 13 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 21 May 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  26. ^ "Fluor, Siemens must pay £1m after man killed in wind-turbine fall - News - GCR". Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  27. ^ a b c d "Suffolk: Fishermen's concerns due to be raised at wind farm meeting today". East Anglian Daily Times. 2 September 2014. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.

External links[edit]