Van Oord is to pilot two wind turbine foundations at the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm.
The project will test two mono bucket foundations, next to monopile foundations. The new mono bucket foundations use a single steel cylinder suction bucket upon which a shaft is mounted. A transition piece and an 8.4MW wind turbine will be installed on this shaft.
According to Van Oord, 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.
Van Oord Mono bucket foundation
The new structure will cause less disruption to local porpoise populations and can be completely decommissioned at the end of its life.
Deutsche Bucht is the third North-Sea offshore wind farm to be built by Canadian power producer Northland Power, and will be the first wind farm worldwide to test this new type of foundation structure under commercial operating conditions.
When completed the Deutsche Bucht wind farm will have a total of 33 wind turbines, 31 on monopiles and two on mono buckets, and a grid capacity of almost 269 MW. It 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, with the mono bucket foundations installed in the second quarter of 2019. Commissioning of the wind farm is expected to take place in the second half of 2019.
Van Oord was awarded the contract on the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm project in August 2017.