DeBu Debut for Universal Foundation’s Mono Buckets

Universal Foundation A/S will provide mono bucket foundations for the two demonstration wind turbines planned to be installed on the DeBu offshore wind farm in the German North Sea.

Image source: Universal Foundation

Back in 2016, the 252MW DeBu project (then Deutsche Bucht project) was allocated by the German authorities extra grid capacity for the purpose of demonstrating above state-of-the-art technology as part of the Anschlusskapazität für Pilotwindenergieanlagen auf See project.

Northland Power, the owner of the project, plans to install two MHI Vestas 8.4MW turbines onto the mono bucket foundations to test the suction bucket foundation technology.

The final investment decision for the two demonstration turbines is subject to achieving certain development milestones, Northland Power said.

“We’ve put our finest efforts into supporting our partners in winning this development bid. Working closely with the visionaries at Northland Power, K2 Management and Green Giraffe made it possible to position our foundation technology as the enabler to win the award for the 16.8MW extension of capacity at Deutsche Bucht. We’ll deploy two Mono Bucket foundations in the project, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to show the world what our foundations can do,” said Kristian Ravn, Managing Director of Universal Foundation.

Universal Foundation’s Mono Bucket technology features practically noise-free installation and a foundation structure that can be 100% decommissioned after the planned operational lifetime, the company said.

The technology has been adapted from suction caissons used in offshore platforms for the oil industry. Universal Foundation has been advancing its application for the offshore wind market since 2002, with several pilot and test projects undertaken since then.

Universal Foundation has, in partnership with SIF and Harland & Wolff, secured funding from the European programme DemoWind for the project.

“In a commercial context, our design uses 20-25% less steel than a comparable monopile, reducing the CO2 emissions footprint. Our practically noise-free installation eliminates many of the challenging requirements around maximum noise emission levels. Our method and technology have a very low impact on marine habitats. And, by eliminating the need for seabed preparations like dredging and extensive rock dumping, offshore marine activities are considerably reduced. This is a real win for positively impacting the overall environmental footprint of offshore wind. Naturally, this also translates into significant cost reductions,” said Kristian Ascanius Jacobsen, Head of Business Development at Universal Foundation.

DeBu is located 95 kilometres northwest of the island of Borkum in the German Exclusive Economic Zone and will feature MHI Vestas 8.4MW wind turbines.