USA: Icebreaker OW Project to Use Mono Bucket Foundations

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) announced today that the Icebreaker offshore wind project, planned for the Ohio waters of Lake Erie, will utilize Mono Bucket foundations, developed by Denmark-based Universal Foundation (UF).

“Universal Foundation’s Mono Bucket foundation recently emerged as one of the most promising technology developments in the European offshore wind industry,” said Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. “We are always vigilant about finding the most cost-effective solutions to build a competitive industry in Lake Erie and we’re excited to be the first to deploy this state-of-the-art innovation in U.S. waters.”

To evaluate the Mono Bucket design, LEEDCo considered its technical performance, manufacturing costs, installation costs and comparative risks.

“Our evaluation concluded that the Mono Bucket will achieve significant cost savings while meeting the technical performance requirements for Lake Erie’s soil and winter weather conditions,” Wagner said. “It is lighter than our original concept, requires significantly less time on the water during construction, and can be fabricated locally.”

The Mono Bucket foundation is an all-in-one steel structure consisting of a monopile shaft attached to a large-diameter bucket. It is installed with a unique suction system that requires no pile driving or dredging – eliminating noise and soil disturbance.

A prototype has been supporting a 3MW turbine in Denmark since 2002, with another one supporting a met mast at Horns Rev 2 in Denmark since 2009.

“After more than a decade of R&D work, trial installations and due diligence, we are thrilled that the Mono Bucket foundation has reached the appropriate level of industry acceptance to begin deployment in commercial projects. We very much look forward to delivering an optimized total solution in close cooperation with related company, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, who has previously been selected as a member of LEEDCo’s team,” said UF CEO Torgeir Ramstad.

UF will join LEEDCo’s team to complete the detailed design of the Mono Bucket foundations for the Icebreaker project. The team will work closely with U.S. steel fabricators to ensure the design is optimized for fabrication in the United States. The final design will be complete in early 2016.

Image: Universal Foundation