- Campaign begins to install 277 turbine foundation monopiles and transition pieces across three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm
- Offshore turbine foundations designed by UK-based designers from Wood Thilsted
- Design includes world’s first split-level transition piece design for safe installation and operation
- Foundation design includes world’s largest 8m offshore wind flange
- Turbine foundations manufactured and fabricated by Sif and Smulders
Work has started on the installation of 277 of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine foundations in the North Sea, in what is another major milestone for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
The campaign to install turbine foundations at what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm commenced today, [Thursday 14] July with the installation of the first monopile and transition piece on Dogger Bank A. The installation campaign is being led by Seaway 7 supported by DEME.
The turbine foundations for Dogger Bank Wind Farm are UK-designed and feature a unique split-level transition piece, as well as a world’s-largest 8-meter flange – or projecting flat rim – to support the turbine towers.
Installation of GE Renewable Energy’s ground-breaking Haliade-X turbines onto each of the installed turbine foundations will commence from Summer 2023.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said:
“These foundations are arguably the strongest and most technically demanding ever to be installed on an offshore wind farm and are a testament to the many companies involved in collaborating to reach this unprecedented milestone.
“As well as the sheer scale of the foundations, we’re installing a unique split-level transition piece which allows safe access for technicians during installation and operations.
“Successful installation of our first monopiles and transitions pieces is a giant leap for offshore wind globally and will lay the foundations for Dogger Bank Wind Farm to contribute to meeting the UK’s Net Zero target. It also demonstrates the innovation in our sector as we begin to install the increasingly large and powerful machines that are needed to fuel our homes and businesses safely and securely in a Net Zero world.”
Designed in the UK by experts from Wood Thilsted, the foundations have been crafted to tackle challenging wave loads in the North Sea, installation in water depths of up to 32m and at a distance of 130km from shore, and provide base support for the scale of the GE Renewable Energy’s groundbreaking Haliade-X turbines.
Alastair Muir Wood, CEO of Wood Thilsted, said:
“Wood Thilsted is proud to be a part of making Dogger Bank Wind Farm a success. Our team faced challenges including working with the largest turbine at the time, an innovative dynamic positioning installation vessel, and some very significant wave loads.
“What made success possible was the collaborative working relationship shared with the Dogger Bank team and the other key stakeholders. This project is a model of success for current and future projects.”
Over the three-year installation programme for the three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, a total of 277 monopiles and transition pieces will be loaded onto floating installation vessels in Rotterdam ahead of transfer out to the offshore wind farm site deep into the North Sea. Using dynamic positioning technology the vessels will pinpoint the installation site in the seabed at which point a monopile measuring up to 72m will be upended and transferred to a pile gripper, before being lowered into the seabed. A hammer will be used to drive the monopile into the optimum position in the seabed before a guidance system aligns the installation of the record-breaking 8-metre flanges which act as a connection for the transition piece which is then installed onto the monopile. The foundations require 152 giant M80 bolts to secure them before a cover is inserted onto the top of the transition piece to leave it watertight.
Seaway 7 was awarded the tier one contract for foundation installation on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, with sub-contractor DEME deploying its Innovation vessel for installation of the first foundations on Dogger Bank A. Following the DEME Innovation, the Seaway Strashnov will deploy on Dogger Bank A to continue the foundation installation.
Wouter van Dalen, Project Director, Seaway 7, said:
“The successful installation of the first Dogger Bank foundation marks the start of a multi-year installation campaign for Seaway 7. In good cooperation with our client Dogger Bank Wind Farm and our partners and suppliers, this complex project has been prepared for installation with a number of different heavy lift vessels, starting with DEME’s Innovation. Seaway 7 is proud to be part of the team that is constructing the Dogger Bank project and is looking forward to safely installing the remaining 276 foundations.”
Lucien Romagnoli, Business Unit Director Renewables at DEME Offshore, said:
“We are extremely proud to be supporting the construction of the world’s largest offshore wind farm with foundation installation and later in the programme as inter-array cable installer. These unique foundations are huge but also, they are technically complex. This is an important moment for the offshore wind industry and the energy transition. It is wonderful to be working alongside like-minded partners with the joint goal of achieving a net-zero energy system.”
In November 2020, the consortium Sif and Smulders was awarded the contract for the manufacture of all 190 monopiles and transition pieces for the Dogger Bank A and B phases of the wind farm, with a contract for Dogger Bank C’s remaining 87 monopiles and transition pieces awarded to the consortium in 2021.
Steel manufactured by Tata Steel in Wales and processed in Corby and Hartlepool is being used in the supporting components of the transition pieces, while South Tyneside-based Metec and Rochdale-based Granada Material Handling have also won contracts with Smulders to support this innovative and world-leading project.