Norwegian-led consortium targets the development of cost-effective pre-installed seabed foundations for offshore wind.
NorWind Installer AS, together with partners OWEC Tower AS, Vestavind Offshore AS, MENCK GmbH, BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH, Strathclyde University, Glasgow and the Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research (CIPR) at UNI Research, have been awarded support from the Norwegian Research Council for an innovation project for renewable energy. “The project will develop new and improved solutions for the location, design and installation of pre-installed seabed foundations for offshore wind turbines”, says Ivan Østvik at NorWind Installer who has been the R&D project developer. “The results of this broad project are expected to provide more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions for such installations, particularly in areas with challenging weather and seabed conditions and contribute towards reducing the cost-level in the industry”, he says.
OWEC Tower, the market leader in jacket-based foundation design for offshore wind turbines, will together with BAUER, foundation engineering specialists, and MENCK, offshore pile driving specialists, develop new designs for pre-installed seabed foundations. The design scope stretches from drilled and screwed piles to suction buckets and gravity bases using slender piles in sand as reference case.
NorWind Installer will take part in some of the design scope, but will together with BAUER and MENCK, primarily focus on the installation of the various designs and utilise their planned purpose-built installation vessels as a reference.
UNI CIPR will manage the project and develop methods for optimized location of the seabed installations with respect to weather, wind, currents and sea bed conditions. University of Strathclyde will contribute with their offshore wind experience mainly in tool developments and for installation solutions.
The planned wind farm Havsul on the Norwegian northwest coast, owned by Vestavind Offshore AS, will be used as a test site for the project to demonstrate the practical use of the new technologies. The project results from Havsul site will be utilised to highlight the project partners' competitive advantage in the aftermath of the project.
The project held its kick-off meeting in Bergen on the16th of January and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2013. The total budget is approx. 14 million NOK, and results are expected to be highly relevant for the growing market for offshore wind projects from 2014 onwards.