New Scour Protection Project Potential Price-Cutter

A new UK consortium is developing a self-installing scour protection system said to be able to save an average offshore wind farm approximately GBP 8.6 million over its lifetime.

The Self-Installing Scour Protection for Offshore Wind Farms (SISProtect) project is being led by Seabed Scour Control Systems (SSCS), who will carry out the design of the prototype Frond Mat system with SPT Offshore.

For the 20-month project, SSCS will design the Frond Mats and SPT Offshore will design the integrated deployment system.

The scour protection will then be fabricated and fitted to a suction bucket foundation designed and produced by SPT Offshore and installed by N-Sea at ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia One offshore wind farm.

A suction bucket without scour protection will also be installed, providing a reference for the level of scour that will develop naturally and ensuring that the reduced scour measured at the protected suction bucket can be properly attributed to the Frond Mats.

According to the project parties, comparisons will also be made to the foundation rock armor used at East Anglia One.

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult will analyze how this system compares in performance and cost with traditional scour protection systems, and DHI Water Environments will monitor the offshore deployment and system performance over 12 months, after which time it will be removed.

ScottishPower Renewables will be responsible for site consenting, project management and providing access to the East Anglian One offshore wind farm site.

“By pre-installing the scour protection system onshore and deploying at the same time as the foundation installation, this innovation will remove the need for environmentally damaging quarrying of rocks and diesel intensive installation vessels whilst providing a lower cost alternative to those currently available for the protection of offshore wind structures," said Adam Tucker, Subsea Division Manager at SCSS.

It is estimated that the protection system could reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) by 40p/MWh, while ORE Catapult's analysis translates this into a cost saving of GBP 8.6 million per wind farm over its lifetime.

“Installation costs typically account for over 75% of the overall cost associated with scour protection systems. By being able to deploy SSCS Frond Mats at the same time as the wind turbine foundation installation, the associated installation costs may be significantly reduced," said ORE Catapult’s Financial Analyst Miriam Noonan.

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