WORK is due to start this month off the coast of Wirral on one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe.
Major components of the 160 turbines making up the Gwynt y Môr wind farm will begin to be put in place 18km into Liverpool Bay.
The heavy lifting vessel Stanislav Yudin will be operating there between April and December, installing the foundations for two offshore substations along with 60 wind turbine foundations.
Project director Toby Edmonds said: “This is a major development in the construction of Gwynt y Môr, enabling the project to remain on schedule and begin delivering clean green energy to 400,000 homes in 2014 as planned.
“Investing in this installation vessel for Gwynt y Môr underlines our commitment to keeping the project on track with our agreed business plan and to delivering one of the UK’s most important renewable energy schemes.
“The Stanislav Yudin will install the first visible components.
“From mid-April there will be periods of intense offshore activity as the substations and foundations, the monopolies and transitions pieces, begin to appear more than 18km off the Wirral coast.”
Gwynt y Môr is one of the largest offshore wind farms currently in construction in Europe.
Offshore construction activity for Gwynt y Môr began in Liverpool Bay in January, with preparations to the seabed in water depths of 12-28m.
The Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm was granted approval by the department of energy and climate change in December 2008.
The development comprises 160 turbines, two offshore substations, 13km of subsea cable, 11km of underground cable and an onshore substation in North Wales.
Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Ltd will have a temporary base off Campbeltown Road, in Birkenhead, next to the River Mersey, to load and fit out the foundations.