Foundation Installation at French Offshore Wind Farm Grinds to a Halt

Van Oord’s installation vessel Aeolus has stopped installing the foundation pin piles at the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm after experiencing technical issues with the drilling equipment.

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 496 MW wind farm.

The installation work some 16.3 kilometres off the coast of Brittany started in early May.

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Ailes Marines, the developer of the wind farm, has informed that Aeolus is currently stood down at the site following an issue with the drilling rig guidance systems.

The problem is reportedly caused by a hydraulic fluid leak which occurred during the second series of borehole drilling at the site, Ailes Marine said.

”…the work was immediately stopped pending the technical inspection of the drilling template by the authorities,” Ailes Marines said.

”Once this inspection is completed, the Aeolus will return to its home port in order to carry out a complete technical check of the vessel and its tools.”

Aeolus was upgraded and an extensive spread of project-specific installation equipment was placed on deck before the installation work started on Saint-Brieuc, Van Oord said at the time.

As previously reported, Aeolus was also surrounded by local fishermen protesting the project soon after the installation work started.

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.

Ailes Marines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, plans to commission the wind farm in 2023.

Photo: Van Oord