EDF Energy Renewable has announced that it is to build a new offshore wind farm in the North Sea using the world’s first float and sink gravity foundations.
Concrete foundations for the Blyth wind farm off the coast of Northumberland will be designed and built by the Royal Bam Group in the Neptune dry dock on the river Tyne.
The foundations will be towed by tug before being sunk into position. Bam has said that the foundations will use “self-installing” technology which it has been jointly developed by Bam Nuttall and Bam Infra.
“This is a very significant milestone not just for Bam but for the wider offshore wind sector,” said Bam Nuttall head of civil engineering Malcolm Corlett. “An opportunity to demonstrate the potential for self-installing concrete gravity bases to provide economic foundations for large wind turbines in deeper water. Following five years of intensive work refining our design and method of construction we now have a live project to demonstrate our technology and bring new skills and opportunity to the north east of England.”
The design work for the foundations has been undertaken by Bam Infraconsult. The 60m high foundations feature a 30m diameter base and weigh 13,000t when in position. The water depth at the installation site is 40m.
The new development, which will feature five 41.5MW turbines, will also be the first to use 66Kv cables in place of the conventional 33Kv systems currently used for such projects. Construction work onshore and offshore is expected to start next year.