An engineer of the future has been given a close-up look at the energy of the future on a Norfolk quayside.
Student Ben Hutchinson, 16, was shown how turbines for the new Galloper Offshore Wind Farm are being assembled, on a VIP tour of the Siemens turbine assembly base at Peel Ports, Great Yarmouth.
Ben, a student at Oundle School, near Peterborough, plans to study engineering at university and was keen to go behind the scenes of the £1.5bn project.
He asked for a visit to the base where 56 turbine towers measuring 90m tall, along with 600-tonne nacelles and 70m blades will be assembled before being sailed to the site 30km off the Suffolk coast.
Ben, of Denver, West Norfolk, said: “My grandfather was a civil engineer which has partly sparked my interest in renewables engineering.
“Seeing the turbines up close was amazing – the scale of the parts and the collaboration between all the different people on such a big project is really impressive. This visit, which the Galloper and Siemens team have kindly hosted, will help me focus on the type of engineering I wish to pursue in the future.”
The assembly team on-site bolt together the three sections of each turbine column, and add the switch gear, plus a top cover, ready to be installed on to the foundations. About 65 people are working at the pre-assembly yard on 12-hour 7am to 7pm shifts.
Galloper site manager, Peter Scott- Andrews said: “We hope that Ben will be an ambassador for us and our industry. It’s superb to meet young people with an interest in engineering and the renewables industry, and particularly warming that Ben’s interest was sparked from his own Grandfathers career and expertise!
He added: “It’s been a fantastic week of education and careers events along the east coast. Some of the team also had the privilege of taking part in the successful Skills Conference organised by Orbis Energy and hosted at East Point Academy in Lowestoft. Around 450 school pupils attended to learn more about the offshore renewables sector as a potential careers pathway.”
Galloper commissioned a film of the Skills Conference which has been launched today
Construction of the Galloper project, whose 6MW turbines will generate enough power for up to 336,000 homes, is being led on behalf of the project partners by innogy SE. The wind farm will be operational by spring 2018.