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Didcot B repair work announced

Npower has announced a programme of works to restore the Didcot B cooling tower, which was damaged as a result of a fire in October 2014.

The energy company has been searching for contractors to undertake the project to repair the damage that was caused to module five of the Didcot B cooling tower in Oxfordshire. The search to find contractors took six months and Npower have now announced that SPX Cooling Technologies has been selected to complete the repair work.

Cells 19 and 22 of the cooling tower were also damaged during the fire, but this was only minor. Npower states that they will be back in service in the summer of 2015 and cells 20 and 21, which received more extensive damage, should be restored and be back in use by September 2015.

Work will also need to be completed to repair the fans of the cooling towers; it is expected that this work will be finished by December 2015.

Due to damage that has been caused to the towers, Npower state that it will be necessary to rebuild the entirety of some units. However, components that weren’t so badly affected by the effects of the flames can be repaired.

As well as employing outside contractors to do some of the work, the owners of Npower, RWE, will complete some of the repair work itself.

Commenting on the repairs, the manager of the Didcot B power station said:

‘We are pleased to announce the project to repair the cooling tower of Module 5 has begun. The power station has been available to generate since the fire but the repairs will enable us to achieve a higher efficiency, and full station capacity as we approach the winter months.’

‘I would like to again thank the emergency services who worked alongside RWE teams to bring the fire under control quickly and safely.’

The Didcot B power station fire made headline news in 2014. The BBC reported that 100 firefighters and 25 fire engines were called out to control the blaze. As a result of the fire, Npower said the station would need to be closed down for the foreseeable future while the repairs were carried out.

The fire started in one of the Didcot B cooling station but soon spread to a number of the other towers.

Following an investigation into the cause of the fire, Npower have since identified a fault within the fan unit, which the power company says started the blaze.

Consent granted for Dogger A and B Wind farms

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has granted permission for the building of an offshore wind farm that is to be constructed on the north-east coast of the United Kingdom.

If the project goes ahead as planned, the Dogger Bank Teesside A and B Offshore wind farms will incorporate anything up to 400 wind turbines, and there will be two offshore wind generating stations.

Dogger Bank Teesside A will measure 560 km² and Dogger Bank Teesside B will cover 593 km².  They will have the capacity to produce 2.4 GW of green power.

The offshore wind farm is being developed by a consortium of four different energy companies called Forewind. The consortium includes Norway-based Statkraft, international energy company Statoil, Scottish-based Energy Company SSE and Germany energy company RWE.

When the construction is finished, the new offshore wind farm will be situated at least 125 km away from the North East coast. Each generating platform will have up to 200 wind turbines and it is planned that they will be a number of collector platforms.

In addition, there are plans to build four platforms that would be used for either housing or and helicopters and there could potentially be up to 10 weather stations.

For the onshore part of the project, there are proposals for a converter station, and underground cabling would also be necessary.

The onshore elements of the planned project are to be situated in Cleveland and Redcar and they have the potential to create numerous jobs in the area. Once the project is complete, it will have the capacity to produce enough energy to power 1.8 million homes in Britain.

Commenting on the decision, Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne stated:

“Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy. As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”

Once the project is complete, it is set to be among the biggest power generators in the United Kingdom.

Forewind General Manager, Tarald Gjerde, said:

“It represents a real opportunity for the UK to receive even more of its energy from its abundant wind resource while creating significant economic benefits, particularly for the north eastern regions.”

Plans for the offshore wind development began with the statutory consultation phase in 2012 and with consent granted, the pre-construction and construction phrase are now free to begin.

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