Industry Hypes Clean Monopile Removal

A new research project is looking into ways to remove monopile foundations in a sustainable way.

Currently, offshore monopiles are removed by cutting them off several metres below the seabed, which leaves behind tonnes of steel buried in the seabed. The Hydraulic Pile Extraction Scale Tests (HyPE-ST) project aims at developing innovative and smart technology to remove the entire monopile in order to make it possible to recycle the steel.

The research will take place in the Deltares’ Water-Soil Flume facility in Delft, the Netherlands. Scaled monopiles will be tested on the possible use of water-pressure to fully retrieve them from the seabed. The tests will take place in different soil conditions such as sands with varying densities, clay, and layered soils. The project is scheduled to be concluded by the end of 2019.

The HyPE-ST project is part of the GROW program and a joint industry initiative of innogy, Deltares, DOT BV, IHC IQIP, Jan De Nul Group and ECN part of TNO. The project has also received financial support from the Topsector Energy of the the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

David de Jager, director of GROW, said: “The time has come to get more insight in the end of life phase of wind farms. To bring the cost down we have to investigate the possibilities of re-use of materials. This project brings offshore wind energy generation one step closer to circularity.”