A HIATUS in a wind farm project of the North-East coast has come to an end after a renewable company has found a solution to working in inclement winter weather.

EDF Energy Renewables will resume the installation of wind turbines on the Teesside offshore wind farm, in the North Sea off the Redcar coast, using specialist vessel MPI Adventure, owned by Stokesley firm MPI Offshore.

A spokesperson for EDF Energy Renewables said: “As the project has moved into the winter period we have been reviewing the use of vessels for the installation of wind turbines on the Teesside offshore wind farm.

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“We have always been aware of the restrictions of the navigation channel at the Port of Hartlepool, where our supply base is located.

“Normally this would not have posed a problem, but delays in the project mean that we are now entering a period of uncertain weather conditions and as a result we have been examining the potential use of a larger vessel which is more suitable for winter operations.

“We have now concluded negotiations with our contractors over the use of an alternative vessel and installation of the turbines will begin as soon as possible.”

The MPI Adventure is a 138.5m long, six leg jack up vessel and is designed to transport, lift and install wind turbines. The vessel normally operates out of the Tees and is owned by the Stokesley-based MPI Offshore.

Individual turbines will be shipped to the wind farm site and installed onto the monopile foundations. The two tower sections will be erected first, with the nacelle, the rotor hub, and blades then being added.

Installation of the wind turbines is now scheduled to commence before Christmas and electrical commissioning and testing of individual turbines will be carried out as soon as installation is complete.

All other major works associated with the new wind farm, including the construction of the onshore substation at Warrenby, are now complete.

Subsea cabling is fully installed with final cable burial and testing only to be completed.

Allowing for increased weather downtime over the winter, it is expected that the project will be completed in spring or summer next year, although individual turbines will start to generate electricity as soon as they become operational.