Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus is starting the installation of the first of 62 jacket foundations for the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm project.
The 496 MW wind farm is located 16.3 kilometres off the coast of Brittany, France.
Van Oord is using the port of Cherbourg as the pin pile marshalling port. The pin piles, coming from Spain, will be stored in France before installation offshore.
Van Oord is responsible for the transport and installation of 62 jacket foundations for the wind turbines, three pin piles each, and the four foundation pin piles for the offshore substation. A total of 190 pin piles will be installed at the site.
Before installing the very first pin piles for the jacket foundation this month, the Aeolus was upgraded and an extensive spread of project-specific installation equipment was placed on deck, Van Oord said.
Upgrades to Aeolus
Due to the geotechnical circumstances in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, harsh weather conditions combined with extremely strong currents, heavy Atlantic swell and very high waves, offshore operations are possible only between March and October.
To ensure that the Aeolus can be safely jacked up above sea level the lifting spuds were modified with a flex-pin construction, Van Oord said.
For the drilling operations, new hydraulic drills were engineered and built to handle all types of soil and rock conditions. A newly designed and created drilling template will function as a positioning and holding-tool to ensure the precise placement of the pin-piles.
Van Oord will also be deploying several other vessels on the project in the next months for the removal of boulders, installation of scour protection, transport of pin piles, etc. The installation campaign for the pin piles will be executed in 2021 and 2022. The jackets will be installed in 2022.
The Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is being developed by Ailes Marines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola. The wind farm is scheduled to become operational in 2023.