The installation of the first of two innovative suction-installed foundations on Dogger Bank on the weekend represents the first stage of construction of the world’s largest offshore wind development.
The foundations will support meteorological masts that will monitor wave and wind conditions at the site, located 125 kilometres off the North Yorkshire coast.
Forewind general manager, Dr Lee Clarke said the installation of the foundation for Dogger Bank Met Mast East – the first structure at the Round 3 zone – marked a milestone for Forewind and its owners.
“This is certainly a momentous occasion for us,” he said. “It’s a sign that this project is really beginning to take shape.”
The innovative Bucket Foundations selected for Dogger Bank were developed by Danish firm Universal Foundation – a Fred. Olsen-related company – through The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator programme.
“This is the first deployment of the Bucket Foundation in UK waters,” said Phil De Villiers, head of the OWA programme. “We’re excited about what this means for offshore wind development. The foundations represent 30 percent of the total cost of a wind farm. Reducing the capital and installation costs could really make an impact on the viability of future projects.”
The meteorological masts and foundations were fabricated by Fred. Olsen-related companies under an EPCI contract between Forewind and Fred. Olsen United.
In another first, the installation was the inagural job for Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s 132m jack-up vessel Brave Tern, which was completed in Dubai last year.
Press release, February 27, 2013; Image: forewind