First German Floating Foundation Secures Grid Connection

German engineering consultancy Gicon has received permission from a governmental agency to feed 2.3MW of grid connection capacity through the country’s first floating offshore foundation – GICON®-SOF.

On 3 November 2015, Edelstahl und Umwelttechnik Stralsund GmbH (ESG), a member of the Gicon Group, secured the necessary claim to connection capacities as part of a bidding process with the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). Thus, the GICON®-SOF, currently under construction, can be connected to the 50Hertz Transmission GmbH grid within the next 36 months.

The bidding process was necessary because the approved bidders had applied for a total of 258.3 MW connection capacity, but only 211.1 MW were available. In addition to ESG, five other bidders were present at the live auction in Bonn.

One of the prerequisites for admission to the bidding process was an authorization under the German Federal Pollution Control Act (BImSchG) and proof of a seabed investigation, as required by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency.

“The allocation is a further milestone in the fulfillment of our R&D project. With the installation of GICON®-SOF in 2016, the first wind power plant with a floating foundation will be put into operation as part of a commercial wind farm,” Gicon’s CEO Burkhard Schuldt said.

The project has been funded by the Ministry of Economy, Construction and Tourism of the German State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, with additional funding from the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF) for the 2007-2013 funding period. With this assistance, the manufacture, installation and testing of the first floating wind turbine in Germany is being proportionately funded.

A full scale prototype will be installed off the German Baltic Sea coast in order to conduct technical testing as well as ecological monitoring. An additional site in the North Sea is currently under development to test a full scale 5-6MW prototype under North Sea conditions. The target is to start serial production of the GICON® SOF following the testing phase.

Image: 50Hertz Transmission GmbH