Thornton Bank power flows ashore

Power technology group ABB has switched on the submarine transmission link connecting C-Power's 325MW Thornton Bank wind farm off Belgium to the onshore network, finishing off a project that began as 30MW six-turbine development.

The newly-opened Thornton Bank has grown to become the biggest wind farm in Belgian waters, with the final turbine installed in July.

ABB was responsible for the system engineering, design, supply and commissioning of the alternating current (AC) underwater lines, the land-based cable systems as well as the offshore substation.

Energy generated by the wind farm's 54 REpower turbines flows via medium-voltage cables along the seabed to the offshore transformer station, where the voltage is boosted to 150kV for transmission 30km to shore and into the Belgian grid at the Slijkens high-voltage substation at Bredene.

Thornton Bank is designed to generate more than 1,000GWh of electricity a year, equivalent to the annual consumption of about 300,000 households in Belgium.

The wind farm will contribute 7% of Belgium’s targeted renewable energy commitment by 2020, while saving CO2 emissions of some 415,000 tonnes a year.

Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division, said: “The close collaboration with C-Power combined with ABB’s technologies, domain competence and experience were key success factors in the smooth execution of this project.”