Gwynt y Môr: Wind farm work to begin offshore near Llandudno
Building work is due to begin off the north Wales coast for one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe.
The 160-turbine Gwynt y Môr project eight miles (13km) off Llandudno will take more than two years to build.
The first task will be to place fist-sized pieces of rock on softer parts of the seabed to secure the foundations of around 70 turbines.
The other 90 turbine sites are in areas of more stable seabed sediment and not in need of 'scour protection'.Preventing erosion
The rock, from the north west of England, will be shipped to Liverpool Bay from the port of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
End Quote Toby Edmonds Project Manager, RWE npower renewables
The start of offshore construction activity is an important milestone in the construction of Gwynt y Môr”
Toby Edmonds, project manager for RWE npower renewables, said: "The start of offshore construction activity is an important milestone in the construction of Gwynt y Môr.
"This offshore phase will take more than two years and is scheduled to be completed in mid 2014."
The first 11 foundation sites will receive scour protection during a two week period in January and February.
Consent for the work has been granted by the Welsh government after consultation with statutory bodies.Community benefits
Once fully operational, Gwynt y Môr will generate enough energy to meet the needs of around 400,000 homes.
Onshore work is already underway, with groundwork preparations for a substation near St Asaph to link the wind farm to the National Grid.
The substation will be connected to the wind farm via seven miles (11km) of underground cable between Pensarn and St Asaph Business Park.
Local residents are being consulted over how a £19m community benefit fund over 25 years should be spent.
RWE npower renewables said anyone with queries about the construction of Gwynt y Môr can call an information line on 0845 026 0587.