Season 5, Post 28: Turbine-tastic
Until you’ve been to an offshore wind farm, it is hard to conceive of either its grace or majesty; the sheer scale of the project – over a hundred turbines turning simultaneously. Beyond the aesthetic beauty, there is also the silence. The wind farm was a marvel of almost noiseless efficiency. On a fortunately bright and not too breezy recent morning, your author was lucky enough to take a boat trip to Rampion, a wind farm located about 13km off the south coast of England in the English Channel.
It took around 40 minutes to reach Rampion. The 70 square kilometre site contains 116 wind turbine generators. Each stands at a height of 140m from base to blade tip. For context, London’s Big Ben is 96m high. The length of each blade is 55m, with a diameter of 112m. When fully operational, the wind farm is capable of powering around 300,000 homes.
To build such a project is a non-trivial undertaking. We were told that the construction took around three years. Each turbine weighs 250 tonnes and is supported by a foundation sunk over 60m deep and around three times the turbine’s weight. Beyond the turbines, there is also an interconnector station at Rampion that converts the turbine’s energy into the appropriate current to be fed back into the grid. Miles of sub-sea cables (144km, to be precise) link the turbines together.
Expect to see more projects such as Rampion appear both in the UK and elsewhere. Locals love them since the turbines are located far from where they live (and hence not in their backyard). Fishing stocks have also apparently improved in the Rampion area since the turbines were erected – their foundations provide shelter and fertile breeding grounds. More fundamentally, offshore wind farms are more efficient, have a reduced environmental impact and can be scaled more quickly, owing to the available space in which to build them. They typically require fewer turbines to produce the same amount of energy as onshore wind farms. Against this background, most industry forecasts call for offshore wind turbine market growth at a pace some four times the rate of onshore. The future is offshore. We will be publishing more on this topic, in a dedicated theme piece after the summer.
27 July 2023
The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.
All photos taken by the author.
Click here to view all Blog posts.
Alex Gunz, Fund Manager
The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document.
The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital LLP’s prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital LLP’s prior written consent.
Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
email [email protected]
Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Heptagon Capital Limited is licenced to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
GET THE UPDATES
Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.