Van Oord to Install Suction Bucket Foundations at Deutsche Bucht
Financial close has been reached for two pilot wind turbines at the Deutsche Bucht Offshore Windfarm. The project will test Mono Buckets, a new type of suction bucket foundation structure, equipped with a 8.4MW turbine.
In addition to its Balance of Plant contract for the windfarm, Van Oord will also be responsible for manufacturing and installing the two additional mono bucket foundations. Northland Deutsche Bucht GmbH announced yesterday that the Deutsche Bucht Mono Bucket pilot demonstrator project has reached financial close. Deutsche Bucht, the third North Sea offshore windfarm to be built by Canadian power producer Northland Power, will be the first windfarm worldwide to test this new type of foundation structure under commercial operating conditions.
The Mono Bucket foundation consists of a single steel cylinder, known as a suction bucket, upon which a shaft is mounted. A transition piece and a wind turbine will be installed on this shaft. The suction bucket structure becomes firmly embedded in the sea floor by its own weight and vacuum pressure, eliminating the need for pile driving and, consequently, for noise mitigation measures such as big bubble curtains. The new structure therefore benefits the environment because it causes less disruption to local porpoise populations and can be completely decommissioned at the end of its lifetime.
The Deutsche Bucht windfarm will have a total of 33 wind turbines, 31 on monopiles and two on Mono Buckets, and a grid capacity of almost 269MW. This means the windfarm will supply enough renewable energy to meet the needs of approximately 328,000 households each year. Offshore construction of the windfarm is expected to start this summer. The Mono Bucket foundations will be installed in the second quarter of 2019. Commissioning of the wind farm is expected to take place in the second half of 2019.