Nexans cable technology has been selected by VBMS for the world’s first 66kV offshore wind farm. As part of its own contract with EDF Energy Renewables, VBMS will use the Nexans 66kV inter-array cable system to provide the subsea connection between the offshore turbines and the onshore grid for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Project. With offshore wind turbines growing in size, the new 66kV Nexans technology is improving the lifecycle cost-efficiency compared to 33kV systems.

The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Project, located 5.7km off the port of Blyth in Northumberland, UK, consists of three arrays with five wind turbine generators each. A 66kV inter-array cable network and separate export cables will carry the energy onshore. The 66kV subsea cable will be manufactured and tested at Nexans’ specialist factory in Hanover, Germany, before it is supplied in one length in 2017. The related connectors will be manufactured by Nexans Power Accessories in Erembodegem, Belgium, and have been developed from the well-established 33kV technology.

Nexans medium-voltage submarine activity director Matthias Kirchner said : "Nexans recently completed its qualification for 66kV XLPE insulated submarine cable systems (cable and accessories) as part of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme, supported by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Scottish Government. The design and efficacy of our aluminum laminated polyethylene sheath is widely recognized by the experts in the industry. We are extremely happy to have been selected by VBMS and its client, EDF Energy Renewables to be the first to demonstrate our 66kV capabilities for offshore windfarms."

Nexans sales and marketing high-voltage and underwater cable business group vice-president Philippe Gastineau said : "This project is a great example of Nexans’ pioneering alternative offshore wind design, extending the options for renewable energy generation from the traditional 33kV design. This contract, together with the recently signed Hywind Pilot Park with Statoil, clearly establishes Nexans as a leader in offshore wind innovation."