Dutch Explore Use of Gravity-Based Structures on Future Offshore Wind Farms

A consortium of MARIN, Deltares, Witteveen + Bos, Vuyk Engineering and ECN has set up a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to investigate the critical aspects in the transportation, installation and project logistics of gravity-based support structures for offshore wind turbines.

Gravity-based support structures (GBS) are heavy structures (often concrete) that are sunk and placed onto the seabed to provide support for offshore wind turbines. A group of ten leading industry partners, comprising civil contractors, wind farm developers and foundation designers have joined the project, ECN said.

Current GBS foundations have mostly been installed in calm seas. The increasing size of future offshore wind farms requires longer spells of favourable weather conditions for the installation of GBS systems.

In this project, transportation to the wind farm site and installation is simulated and tested at the wave tanks of MARIN and Deltares for more stringent conditions.

This is expected to lead to more insights in the operational weather limits for transport and installation of the foundations. The findings and suggestions will be bundled in a handbook for industry.

The GBS JIP will be conducted as a 2-year Joint Industry Project in co-operation with energy companies, operators, yards and marine system suppliers.

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