New Material Protects Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations, Cables
Offshore Marine Management (OMM) says it has teamed up with Geofabrics Australasia, a provider of geotextiles and geosynthetic engineering solutions, to create a new and effective, environmentally sensitive and sustainable solution for scour protection at the base of wind turbines.
Rob Grimmond, Chief Executive Officer at OMM, said: “Concrete and rock are usually used to protect the base of a wind turbine from erosion but they can cause problems with the O&M phase of cable repairs and don’t encourage the marine ecosystem. Our new solution will overcome this problem and may even help with planning permissions of offshore wind farms. This solution is environmentally friendly whilst offering a cable protection solution away from concrete matting. The strength of experience at Geofabrics makes them the perfect partner.”
OMM will be using Geofabrics ELCOROCK System, a robust sand filled container made from the highest durability geotextile fabric, to provide an alternative to rock placement protection, which also helps marine life to thrive and could assist in securing planning permission.
ELCOROCK was originally developed over 20 years ago to prevent erosion of beaches along the Australian Gold Coast shoreline and has also proven to be beneficial to the environment, encouraging underwater habitats to grow around the system. OMM will be working closely with Geofabrics to repurpose the product for use in the renewables industry by utilising its knowledge and providing advice on the correct design, detailing and planning installations of this system along with an ongoing maintenance plan.
Dave Markham, Business Development Manager at Geofabrics, said: “This is a new and exciting market area for ELCOROCK. We have seen the benefits of our high durability system along the shoreline and in inland waterways and by utilising the skills and expertise of OMM we are confident we will see the same benefits further offshore by protecting wind turbines in a more sustainable way.”