Gwent Y Mor Prepares For Export Cable Corridor Inquiry Over Cable Issues

The Gwent Y Mor offshore wind farm in the UK is set to undergo a pre-construction study of its export cable corridor, following a series of export cable issues.

Titan Endeavor will carry out the work, starting around April 15 and expected to take up to seven days, subject to weather conditions.

The preliminary study of the export cable corridor will be carried out before certain maintenance work on one of the export cables is carried out at a later date.

The survey vessel will conduct survey operations on a 12 hour basis.

Gwynt Y Mor, located about 13 kilometers off the coast of North Wales, was commissioned in 2015. That same year the project encountered its first problems with the export cable, which was then repaired.

Five years later, an operations and maintenance (O&M) contractor performing routine fiber testing of the spare fiber optic cable (FOC) discovered that all of the spare FOC fibers in the submarine export 3 (SSEC3) had failed. This initial FOC rupture was located close to where the repair was undertaken in 2015.

Between February and September 2020, the owner of the project’s offshore transmission system carried out additional tests to check for any degradation of the power cores and to improve the accuracy of the location of the break.

On October 15, 2020, Gwynt y Môr OFTO plc, a consortium including Balfour Beatty and Equitix, discovered a second break on the spare FOC within SSEC3, near which the main power core of the cable section is fails. This second FOC rupture was located approximately 1.5 kilometers from the initial FOC rupture.

Gwynt y Môr OFTO reported the reduction in transport services to Ofgem and filed the Exceptional Event Claim, which Ofgem accepted in February 2021.

In May last year, Sumitomo Electric Industries announced that it had won a contract to supply the export cable for the 576 MW offshore wind farm.

Gwynt y Môr comprises 160 Siemens Gamesa 3.6MW wind turbines, which together can provide enough renewable electricity to meet the equivalent needs of around 400,000 average UK households.

The wind farm is owned by RWE, Stadtwerke München and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).

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