Van Oord’s Aeolus Ready for 15 MW Wind Turbines with Crane Upgrade No. 2

The offshore wind turbine installation vessel Aeolus has been fitted with a new, 133-metre-long crane boom at the Damen shipyard in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, after Van Oord last year sent the vessel for its second crane upgrade to enable Aeolus to handle wind turbines of up to 15 MW.

Video screenshot; Van Oord video

Back in 2018, the 2014-built Aeolus got a new crane with a 1,600-tonne lifting capacity, along with other upgrades, to enable the transport and installation of the latest generation of foundations and turbines at the time.

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The crane, built by Van Oord’s compatriot Huisman, has now got the new boom, also designed by Huisman, to take on the installation next generation of offshore wind turbines, those from 12 MW to 15 MW.

In September 2022, the vessel owner announced the new Aeolus upgrade saying the decision was made in order to ensure that the vessel remains competitive in a rapidly changing market where turbines continue to increase in size.

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The vessel will soon return to the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm site in France, where it has been deployed for pile installation operations.

Aeolus left the French offshore wind farm site in December for annual maintenance and the crane upgrade and is said to return in this quarter to perform piling work on the remaining 22 wind turbine positions of the 62-turbine project.

The next project for the vessel is expected to be in the US, where Van Oord won its first offshore wind contract last year for a yet undisclosed wind farm off the East Coast. There, Aeolus will transport and install wind turbines, with the work scheduled to start this year.

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There are two projects on the US East Coast that are set to enter the turbine installation phase this year: Vineyard Wind 1 offshore Massachusetts and South Fork offshore New York.

It was announced earlier that DEME Offshore was contracted to transport and install the 63 GE Haliade-X 13 MW wind turbines at this wind farm, using its installation vessel Sea Installer. The contractor for the South Fork wind farm, which will comprise twelve 11 MW Siemens Gamesa turbines, has not been disclosed.

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Photo: Video screenshot; Van Oord's video