Offshore wind developer Forewind’s second of two planned meteorological masts was erected at Dogger Bank during the weekend using the innovative suction installed Bucket Foundation and a “human free” technique for the steel tower placement.
The latest mast to be installed – Dogger Bank Met Mast West - will provide essential wind, wave and other weather information, as well as marine traffic data for the Dogger Bank offshore wind energy development. It is located approximately 150 kilometres from the U.K. coast.
Installed by Fred. Olsen United utilising the 132m jack-up vessel Brave Tern, the operation was completed smoothly and without any accidents or injuries.
The foundation, designed by Universal Foundation, was installed by applying suction in the bucket, to pull it into the seabed. Hundreds of water jets integral to the base steered the foundation to keep it level during its installation. Next the 93-metre lattice tower was maneuvered into place using a “human free” technique employing guide cones, and therefore enabling the crew to stay on deck and avoid lifting hazards.
Forewind General Manager Lee Clarke said the use of a new foundation technology combined with the safer installation technique shows how the growing offshore wind industry provides companies and contractors with the scope to put new ideas into practice for the benefit of all.
“The scale and scope of the Round 3 projects like Dogger Bank will continue to provide ongoing opportunities to introduce innovative technological advances and improved methods that will help reduce costs and improve efficiencies industry-wide,” Dr. Clarke said.
The foundation was constructed at Harland and Wolff’s facility in Belfast and Project Manager Ken Hawkins said they were delighted that that it was installed exactly as intended.
“We are investing heavily in new facilities and equipment to ensure we can continue to drive down costs while enhancing our capacity and the quality of the product,” he said.
The Forewind project was supported by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator program, which takes the best concepts for offshore wind turbine foundations from design to deployment.
"This is great news,” said the Carbon Trust’s Associate Director, Innovation, Phil de Villiers. “Novel foundations being developed through the Offshore Wind Accelerator program are essential to rapidly reduce the capital costs of the next large-scale offshore wind farms.”
“The successful deployment of the second Bucket Foundation at Dogger Bank is a major step in giving offshore wind developers more options as they look to select components for future Round 3 projects."
Dogger Bank Met Mast West will now be set-up and commissioned and it is expected to be fully operational by the end of September.