Grontmij Keeps Dutch Coast Safe With Innovative Sand Wind Turbine

Grontmij in the Netherlands has developed a concept known as the Sand wind turbine, according to which wind turbines are able to generate energy to transport sand, through pipelines, to the shoreline. Grontmij is further elaborating this concept with the Dutch Department of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). Other market parties may become involved in the programme.

Every year, 12 million m3 of sand is transported landwards by cutter dredgers, to protect the Dutch coastline. Given the expected sea level rise and the autonomous demand of the Wadden Sea for sand suppletion, these efforts will continue to be necessary over the coming centuries. The transport of sand to the shore by cutter section dredger costs approximately 60 million euro a year, and generates a CO2 emission of 150,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to the emissions from 80,000 cars.

Grontmij is always in search of innovative solutions that contribute to a sustainable and safe living environment, and is thereby investigating means by which sand transport can be undertaken more sustainably and in a more environmentally-friendly manner. “We will make full use of natural energy resources including sea currents and wind. The distribution of sand along the coastline together with the transportation of the sand from a depth of twenty metres below the North Sea to the surfline along the beaches (a distance of approximately ten kilometres) can be achieved in a natural and sustainable manner. Six pairs of wind turbines may be enough to generate sufficient wind energy for the sand transport activities”, explained Jan Kollen, senior Water Consultant at Grontmij.

Initial technical and financial investigations suggest that the concept has every chance of success. Within a consortium structure, Grontmij will investigate the feasibility of the plan, if possible in conjunction with a small-scale practical trial.


Source: grontmij, February 09, 2011