Workers dig deep to replace cable

Dominic Bareham THE second phase of work to replace a faulty cable bringing power from Scroby Sands windfarm to shore has begun.Three vessels, including two tugboats, moored off North Beach this week as energy company E.

Dominic Bareham

THE second phase of work to replace a faulty cable bringing power from Scroby Sands windfarm to shore has begun.

Three vessels, including two tugboats, moored off North Beach this week as energy company E.On worked to replace the cable which developed a fault in June.

The repair work began early last month, but the process has now reached the stage where two tugs have been brought in to begin removing the section of cable buried underwater.

Jon Beresford, the firm's asset leader, said although the line - one of three cables stretching from the windfarm to the shore - was out of action, supplies were only affected when the windfarm's 30 turbines were operating at maximum capacity, but for the most part the two cables were sufficient.

He said: “The overall performance of the windfarm last year was very good to compensate for the loss of the cable. There was a lot of investment in the turbines.”

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Although no cause had been found for the loss of the line, Mr Beresford said it should be determined once the cable had been removed and examined.

The replacement work involves excavating sand from the beach to take away the section three metres down, then digging up the remaining cable in the North Sea before the new line could be laid.

The tug closest to the shore uses a special machine to blast away sand so the cable can then be reeled in and cut, while a second tug is attached to the first by a rope to provide stability.

The third boat is a patrol vessel to ward off incoming ships as the work is being carried out in a busy shipping lane.

Annually, the 60m high turbines should generate enough electricity to power 40,000 homes which is fed through the three cables to a sub-station in Admiralty Road and into the National Grid.