After nearly 20 years of operation, Blyth Offshore Wind Farm, which was the UK’s first wind farm situated offshore, will be decommissioned according to its operator, E.ON Energy.
Named the Blyth Offshore Wind Farm, located off the Northumberland coast, comprises two wind turbines, the largest of their kind at the time, to generate a total of 4 MW, enough to power about two thousand homes. A wind farm typically has a life span of about 20–25 years, so the decision to decommission it is hardly surprising. Technology has also moved on, with modern turbines being built on a much larger scale and using advanced lubricants, like those from Mobil distributors. The giant 1.2 GW Hornsea One wind farm, for example, uses 7 MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbines. While the capacity of the Blyth Offshore Wind Farm is fairly nominal, its main contribution was in proving the potential of offshore wind power.
An offshore technical specialist at E.ON, Patrick Rainey, said that the Blyth Offshore Wind Farm has a distinct importance for the people at the company, with it being their first offshore development, as well as a national first. He added:
“Through Blyth, we were able to demonstrate to the watching world that the technology worked, and we’ve been able to use our experience and learning to go on to develop a further 1.5GW of wind capacity off the UK coast.”
Decommissioning work will begin in April, with it expected to take about six weeks to complete.