Offshore Construction Starts on Northwester 2 Wind Farm

Offshore wind developer Parkwind and marine contractor Jan De Nul have kicked off offshore seabed preparation works in the Belgian North Sea for the 219MW Northwester 2 wind farm.

Jan De Nul

Jan De Nul has just finished the offshore scour protection works on the wind farm’s 23 turbine locations. At each location, the subsea rock installation vessel Simon Stevin installed a 32m diameter wide and 700mm thick rock layer to stabilize the seabed around the foundation.

Jan De Nul is now gearing up to install the first foundation in the coming days. The monopile foundations for the wind turbines will be hammered directly through the rock layer into the seabed.

Stan Logghe, Senior Project Manager Northwester 2 at Jan De Nul Group, said: “A full year of preparation is now coming to an end with the start of the construction phase. With the installation vessel Vole au vent returned to Ostend, Jan De Nul is now ready to commence the installation of the foundations for the Northwester 2 wind farm.”

Jan De Nul equipped its Vole au vent with ”the most advanced monopile gripper to date, delivered by Huisman,” which will be deployed for the first time on the Northwester 2 project.

The Northwester 2 wind farm will comprise 23 MHI Vestas V164-9.5MW wind turbines, making it the first wind farm to feature this turbine model.

The turbines will be linked through an offshore high voltage station to Elia’s Offshore Switch Yard (OSY). The commissioning of the wind farm is slated for 2020.

According to Parkwind, the Northwester 2 project will introduce a new design for the external access platforms on the foundations – the box platform. The platform has a design developed and patented by Parkwind that consists only of steel plate material.

Source: Parkwind

“At Parkwind, we continuously look for optimizations and cost-effective solutions while developing offshore wind farms,” Peter Caluwaerts, Project Director Northwester 2 at Parkwind, said.

”The box platform is a show case of this attitude. Indeed, this innovative design reduces the overall cost of the foundation fabrication by introducing ship building techniques in the fabrication process. Moreover, the box platform simplifies and reduces offshore maintenance activities over the lifetime of the windfarm. It is great to see the initial ideas now coming to life at the start of the offshore construction works.”