VBMS has recently executed the first export cable shore landing for the 336MW Galloper offshore wind farm utilising its newly invented method for lowering the cable onto the seabed by using a remotely controlled progressive buoyancy release system which eliminates the need for divers, wet riggers or support vessels.
The company said that the new method is a response to a growing market demand for minimising the use of divers during operations by the development of a new method for floating pull-ins.
Building on previous collaboration, VBMS further developed an application of the Unique Group’s Seaflex buoyancy system called SeaSerpent.
The controlled progressive lowering of the cable onto the seabed is remotely operated from the beach or an installation vessel, positioning the cable accurately along the route without risking the integrity of the cable.
All rigging materials, including buoyancy devices, are recovered from the cable directly, after which the trenching operation can commence without any further intervention, VBMS says.
The company tested the method at the Galloper shore landing on the coast of Suffolk, UK. The shore landing, entailing a 700-metre export cable pull-in and lowering of the cable onto the seabed, was performed in seven hours, according to VBMS. The progressive lowering itself took five minutes to complete.
Toby Edmonds, Project Director at Galloper Wind Farm Limited (GWFL) said: “The installation went smoothly and to time, and we look forward to replicating that performance next Spring when the second and final export cable is installed. The new technology that VBMS deployed on the Galloper project is a great example of how the industry is continuing to think innovatively and progressively to increase safety, manage interfaces, and reduce installation costs.”
Project partner innogy SE is leading the development and construction of the GBP 1.5 billion Galloper project on behalf of all of the project partners, including Siemens Financial Services, UK Green Investment Bank, and Macquarie Capital.
The wind farm is an extension of the existing and fully operational Greater Gabbard and will comprise 56 Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 6MW, installed some 27km off the coast.
The offshore construction phase started in June 2016 and is expected to be completed in late 2017. The wind farm is expected to commence operations in March 2018.