United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Dong to build novel offshore foundation

UK: Dong Energy has been awarded £6 million (EUR 7.3 million) to build a full-scale demonstration model of its novel offshore turbine foundation.

The jacket uses suction buckets to secure it to the seabed
The jacket uses suction buckets to secure it to the seabed

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The Suction Bucket Foundation consists of welded tubular steel frames - but unlike most jackets it is anchored to the seabed using suction buckets.

The funding has been provided by the UK's Carbon Trust as part of its programme to bring down the cost of offshore wind.

Bucket foundations have been used by the oil and gas industry for more than 30 years for oil platforms installed in the North Sea.

The performance and stability of the prototype will be tested at Dong's offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 1 in the German North Sea, where the sandy soil conditions are suitable for testing of the new concept.

"To minimise the time to market for the Suction Bucket Jacket, a full-scale prototype of the foundation will be demonstrated with a turbine as quickly as possible," Dong said in a statement.

Installation of the foundation is due before the end of 2014, and if the demonstration is successful, Dong said it could be used in commercial projects from 2017 — including the UK Round 3 projects.

The funding from the Carbon Trust means that the data from the prototype will be shared with E.on, Mainstream Renewable Power, ScottishPower Renewables, Statkraft and Statoil to allow them to evaluate whether to use it in the UK.

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