The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) has reported that the last of 20 suction bucket foundations for Ørsted’s Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in the North Sea off the coast of Germany has been successfully installed ahead of schedule.
NGI designed the foundations and worked with subcontractor Framo during installation by Geosea using its Innovation heavy lift vessel.
The design includes a comprehensive structural health monitoring system on two of the jackets to monitor and verify behaviour of the structures during operation in the field.
Installation of the suction bucket foundations followed on from installation of 36 conventional monopiled foundations for the 450MW wind farm which is expected to become operational by early 2019.
“This is a milestone project for Ørsted and for suction bucket foundation technology in the offshore wind industry,” said Ørsted lead geotechnical engineer Avi Shonberg. “After the successful installation of the suction bucket jacket prototype at Ørsted’s Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore windfarm, the successful installation of 20 suction bucket jackets at the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore windfarm is a fantastic achievement which helps us towards our target of lowering the cost of energy. We are proud that Ørsted is leading the way with this innovative foundation concept.”
According to NGI, the suction bucket design is proven technology used in the oil and gas sector, which could reduce time and cost of foundation installation on offshore wind farms. The organisation also said that the technique minimises the impact on marine life and can be easily removed at the end of operational life.