Equans' electrical substations, nerve centers of the wind farms
September 29th is World Maritime Day and marine renewable energies are raising high hopes and major investments.
Equans' Offshore Division in Belgium is making a significant contribution to this new reality by combining its recognized expertise in engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIc) of offshore high voltage substations (OHVS) with its activities in the complete monitoring and maintenance of wind and offshore farms.
Each year, Equans undertakes projects that involve thousands of man-hours, multiple skills and strict deadlines. In total, Equans has already contributed to the construction, installation and commissioning of 30 offshore substations in the North Sea.
On July 8th, Ailes Marines (Iberdrola Group) announced the complete installation of the electrical substation for the Saint-Brieuc wind farm. A spectacular operation carried out by one of the largest lifting vessels in the world. The entire substation weighs more than 3400 tonnes! Its role? Essential, it is the nerve centre of the park. It will collect the electricity produced by the 62 wind turbines by raising the electrical voltage via power transformers, before transferring it to land. The electricity will then be transported by the Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE). The wind farm will produce approximately 1,820 GWh/year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (including heating).
An electrical substation is the huge offshore platform that can be seen next to the wind turbines. It is automated and remotely controlled and supervised using complex digital tools. It also controls the electrical production of the wind farm.
Equans and Smulders (a subsidiary of Eiffage Metal) worked together on the topside of the Saint-Brieuc substation, an impressive modular construction measuring 55 meters long, 31 meters wide and 23 meters high. The final assembly of the substation took place in Hoboken (Belgium), on the banks of the river Scheldt (Antwerp province).
Equans designed and equipped the low voltage electrical part of the topside, including the auxiliary systems and the integration of the medium and high voltage equipment. By the end of this year, Equans will have delivered or been ordered 12.8 GW of offshore substations.
Equans' Offshore Division has been involved in the construction, installation and commissioning of 30 offshore substations in 5 countries in Northern Europe and 4 are currently under construction. In addition, it continues to provide monitoring and maintenance of numerous platforms. Its expertise and know-how in this area, known for its geological parameters and highly variable water depths, make it an ideal partner for any offshore wind development in the international market.
Equans has also developed a new generation of electrical substations, which are lighter, easier to transport and install, and can be integrated more quickly into the supply chain of a wind farm.