IT’S finally arrived, 14 kilometres off the Sussex coast.

This week saw the installation of a 2,000 tonne offshore substation at Rampion Wind Farm.

After taking around two years to design and build, the substation was transported by sea over a distance of 500 nautical miles from the Firth of Forth in Scotland where it was constructed at Babcock’s Rosyth base.

It arrived at Southampton Port last week before the final leg of its journey to the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm site on Saturday.

It was lifted in to place on top of the substation foundation on Monday once the weather and sea conditions allowed.

Chris Tomlinson, development and stakeholder manager, said: “The substation is the largest and most complex component of the wind farm to be installed.

“A great amount of skill was required by the engineers, crane operators and vessel operators, to lift and position the 2,000 tonne structure in to place.

“We are delighted to have reached this important step in the construction process which takes us another step closer to first generation later this year.”

The substation, known as the “topside”, was put in place using a heavy lift vessel and required two cranes, with a combined capacity of 3,300 tonnes, which lifted and lowered the structure in tandem.

The topside was then positioned by steel guide cones fitted to the bottom of the legs into steel tubes on the foundation.

Work to weld the topside to the foundation will be completed in the coming days.

Further completion and commissioning works will continue to take place on the substation platform over the coming months in preparation for first generation.

The main role of the substation is to transform the electricity generated by the turbines from 33 kilovolts up to 150 kV.

The structure, which will house electrical components including transformers, switchgear and control systems, will be connected to the 116 turbines via a network of underwater cables.

The turbine installation began last month and eight are now fully installed.

The turbine installation is set to continue throughout 2017, with the project due to be completed and fully operational next year.

The Rampion project is being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge.

When complete it will provide enough electricity to supply the equivalent of up to 290,000 homes each year.