Rampion offshore wind farm is located in the English Channel, 13km off the Sussex coast and stretches from East Worthing in the west to Brighton in the east.

The 400 MW offshore wind farm featuring 116 V112-3.45 MW turbines is estimated to generate almost 1,400 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of power each year and provide clean energy to around 350,000 British households.

The total investment in the Rampion project is estimated to be approximately £1.3bn ($1.6bn).

The project is owned by RWE Renewables UK (50.1%), Canadian energy company Enbridge (24.9%) and the leading renewable energy provider, Equitix owns the remaining 25%.

E.ON UK developed the Rampion offshore wind farm through consent and managed the construction on behalf of the project owners.

The scoping study of the project was announced in September 2010.

The project’s Environmental Statement (ES) was announced in December 2012.

The final investment decision (FID) on the offshore wind farm was made in May 2015 and the project construction started in September 2015.

The first monopile was installed in 2016 and the installation of the turbines began in March 2017.

The project was fully commissioned in November 2018.

Rampion Offshore Wind Farm History

E.ON was awarded development rights to the zone off the Sussex coast as part of The Crown Estate’s third licensing round in January 2010.

The Secretary of State awarded and made the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Order 2014 on 16 July 2014.

The UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) announced the acquisition of a £236m ($298m) stake in the Rampion Wind Farm in May 2015.

The final turbine of the offshore wind farm was installed and began producing green energy in November 2017.

The offshore substation was installed on top of the waiting jacket foundation by the heavy lift vessel, Rambiz 3000 in April 2017.

In 2020, the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm exceeded the generation target by 15 % generating over 1,600 Gigawatt hours (GWh) during the year.

Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Location

The offshore wind farm is located in a 72 km2 site located between 13 and 20km off the Sussex coast in the English Channel.

The site area was reduced from the consented area of 122 km2, which in turn was reduced from 167 km2 following refinements to the scheme during the consultation and examination process.

Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Project Details

The 116 turbines are placed in a regular grid matrix with a minimum spacing of 750 m between the turbines and include an offshore substation.

The turbines are placed on top of foundations, comprising single steel monopiles and transition pieces. Each turbine is made up of an 80 m tall tower weighing approximately 200 tonnes, a nacelle for the generation equipment, a hub, and three 55 m long blades.

The rotor diameter of the turbine is 112 m, and the tip of the turbine blade reaches 140m when vertical.

The offshore turbines are connected by a total of 140km array cables buried in a network under the seabed, to transfer the power to an offshore substation.

The offshore substation is operated from the base at Newhaven Port.

The wind turbines generate power at 33 kilovolts (kV) and the offshore substation transforms it to 150kV, to reduce any losses as it is transmitted to shore.

The 2,000-tonne offshore substation accommodates the electrical components including transformers, switchgear and control systems. The offshore substation is placed on a four-leg jacket foundation, fixed into the seabed.

The generated green electricity will be transmitted to the shore via two 16km subsea export cables to the landfall point located next to Brooklands Pleasure Park in East Worthing.

From the landfall point, 27km of onshore cables buried underground will transport the power to a new onshore substation in Twineham, located adjacent to the National Grid’s 400kV substation at Bolney.

At the new substation, the electricity will be stepped up from 150kV to 400kV and then transmitted to the existing National Grid substation.

Contractors Involved

MHI Vestas was contracted for the supply of 116 V112-3.45 MW turbines for the Rampion offshore wind farm.

The jack-up vessels MPI Discovery and MPI Adventure were utilised for the installation of all 116 wind turbines.

ABB was contracted to provide power infrastructure for the offshore platform as well as the onshore substation to integrate the offshore wind farm into the country’s transmission grid in June 2015.

Fugro was awarded a contract for the installation and burial of array cables at the Rampion offshore project in September 2015. Fugro utilised its construction and installation vessels Fugro Symphony and Fugro Saltire and its Q1400 trenching system to bury the cables.

James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS) was engaged for the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of temporary pontoons at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Newhaven Port facility in May 2016.

The cable route work was undertaken by contractor Carillion.

Hellenic Cables was engaged for the design, manufacturing and supply of 2 x 150 kV 36km export cable systems for the project.

Assodivers Group was awarded the installation and protection of the 4th export cable (2nd replacement cable, or Cable No.4) which was installed on the west of the initial cable routes.

SeaPlanner’s Vessel and Traffic Management System (VTMS) was selected for tracking coverage for the offshore site, the export cable route, the construction base, and all vessels and teams at work in May 2016.