Iberdrola tests deep-water monopiles

GERMANY: Iberdrola has begun pile testing at its 350MW Wikinger offshore wind project aimed at determining the effectiveness of monopiles in deeper water.

Nine monopiles are being tested at the site

German engineering firm Bilfinger has manufactured the monopiles and will test the new structures against static, dynamic and cyclical loads in depths of up to 43 metres.

Bilfinger will drive nine monopoles into the seabed as a preliminary exercise before the construction of the 350MW development begins in earnest in 2016.

Iberdrola said that this was the first time that static and dynamic tension and pressure tests will be conducted under water over an extended period.

The developer had originally applied to use floating turbines at the project, but changed it plans in 2011 as foundations had evolved to

The tests will also determine the effectiveness of Bilfinger's newly developed noise-mitigation methods.

Iberdrola said that it is in the final stages of contracting a turbine manufacturer to supply the project. It is also drawing close to signing deals for the cabling work, and offshore substations.

The project is located 45 kilometres from the German coast in the Baltic sea. It is due to be commissioned in 2017.