North-Wales based Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is progressing well with onshore works for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, commencing a number of key activities for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.
The 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130km off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea and is currently being developed in three 1.2GW phases by joint venture partners SSE Renewables and Equinor.
Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete and will generate enough energy to power over 4.5 million homes every year – around 5 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has been contracted to install the onshore cable infrastructure for two of the phases – Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, and undertake the bulk earthworks at the converter station locations south of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Preparatory enabling works commenced in January, and in recent weeks activities on the main onshore work have ramped up.
This includes the first section of earthworks for the convertor stations, which will receive an AC current via the cables from the wind turbines and convert it to a DC current before sending it to the National Grid.
Jones Bros has also started ducting activities on the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable route from Ulrome to Beverley for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B projects.
The project is the first wind farm in the world to use HVDC technology, due to its distance from shore, and the HVDC route comprises of 30km of ducting with trenches totalling 120km for ducting and cables.
Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is also taking place to install the cabling ducting beneath existing structures, including roads, railways, canals, common land and rivers with minimal disruption.
Jones Bros is also continuing to build access tracks, with 13km in place since the civil engineering contractor started on site earlier in the year.
The full works are expected to take two and a half years to complete.
Garod Evans, contracts director at Jones Bros, said: “Works on the onshore aspect of the wind farm are progressing well.
“We have more than 30 horizontal drills to carry out, which includes building a drilling pit to allow our supply chain partner Johnston Trenchless Solutions, also UK based, to operate. The horizontal drilling method will be used on multiple roads, canals, a river and a railway line to avoid unnecessary disruption.
“The team are also carrying out earthworks and drainage ahead of the installation of the convertor station platform where the cables will run to.
“Our team of 100, which includes apprentices and trainees, have adhered to social distancing regulations put in place by the government during COVID-19 and we have all worked hard to progress this project on schedule.”
Project Manager for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, Ollie Flattery, said:
“Jones Brothers have done a fantastic job getting project construction underway in such challenging circumstances, whilst ensuring those working on site, as well as the community in which they are operating are kept safe.
“We look forward to continuing working with Jones Brothers on the project in the months ahead as we develop the innovative infrastructure needed to provide clean energy for millions of UK households.”
Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros’ leadership team consists of members of the second and third generations of the founding family. It employs close to 500 people.
The company is currently working on contracts in various sectors including highways, flood and marine defence, waste management and renewable energy around the UK.
The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced more than 40 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.