Deutsche Bucht will install two turbines on Mono Buckets

Press release, 19 July 2018

Deutsche Bucht will install two turbines on Mono Buckets

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World premiere: Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm will install two turbines on Mono Buckets

  • Financial close achieved for pilot project
  • First trial foundation in commercial use

HAMBURG, 19 July 2018. – Northland Deutsche Bucht GmbH announced today that the Deutsche Bucht Mono Bucket pilot demonstrator (“Demo”) project has reached financial close. In May, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH) granted the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind project the permit required to erect two additional pilot wind turbines using Mono Bucket foundations. Deutsche Bucht will be the first offshore wind farm worldwide to test this new type of foundation structure under commercial operating conditions. The foundations will be equipped with V164-8.4 MW wind turbines by MHI Vestas. The two turbines will contribute an additional 17 MW of capacity to the base 252 MW project for a total of 269 MW and 33 turbines.

John Brace, CEO of Northland Power: “Today’s announcement represents yet another first for Northland Power. The addition of the Demo turbines is not only innovative and accretive to the base project, but we are able to undertake this initiative with little additional risk since they will be integrated into the overall construction project. The innovative new mono bucket design could be of significant benefit to some of Northland’s future offshore wind farms. The learnings from this pilot could allow Northland to construct faster and lower costs for certain site conditions.”

Jens Poulsen, Project Director of Northland Deutsche Bucht GmbH: “We are proud that with the BSH permit we will now be able to test the two Mono Bucket foundations at the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm. Realizing the pilot project has been possible thanks to the support of the Deutsche Bucht development and construction teams and all the contractors involved. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the constructive collaboration with the BSH.”

Fred. Olsen, Shipowner and Chairman of the Board in Fred. Olsen Ocean: “Competition in today’s offshore wind market is fierce. The industry is evolving, and it is important to challenge the existing standard, while continuing to respect the environment. This pilot offers the opportunity to test an environmentally sound solution with the support of a progressive market player, Northland Power. For the project teams, this has been a marathon of overcoming challenges together. Their commitment to find innovative solutions has been essential to our progress.”

Kristian Ravn, Managing Director of Universal Foundation: “This pilot provides a unique opportunity to utilize the Mono Bucket foundation in a commercial project, demonstrating the above state of the art technology’s low impact on marine habitats. The support from Northland Power has been second to none. All of the parties involved have invested a lot of effort into making this project a reality, and we are delighted that it will now move forward.”

Arnoud Kuis, Director Van Oord Offshore Wind: “As EPC/BoP contractor, Van Oord offers tailor- made solutions for the challenges that this expanding offshore wind market brings along. As such we are excited to be responsible for the manufacturing and installation of this new foundation type. Passion for entrepreneurship and marine construction is what binds us as partners in the realisation of this pilot project.”

In 2016, the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) assigned an additional 16.8 megawatts of grid connection capacity to the Deutsche Bucht project as part of a tender for testing these prototype foundations with MHI Vestas turbines (model V164-8.4).

In developing the foundation, Universal Foundation applied experience gained from the oil and gas industry. The Mono Bucket foundation structure consists of a single steel cylinder, known as a “suction bucket”, upon which is mounted a shaft. The advantage of the suction bucket construction is that its own weight and vacuum pressure causes it to become firmly embedded in the sea floor. This method eliminates the need for pile driving, and consequently, for noise mitigation measures such as big bubble curtains. This results in benefits for the environment, including less disruption for local porpoise populations, and the ability to completely decommission the Mono Bucket. The Mono Bucket concept has been in development by Universal Foundation since 2001 and has already been successfully used in applications such as the foundations for offshore met masts.

Once completed, the 269 MW Deutsche Bucht wind farm will have the capacity to meet the needs of approximately 328,000 households each year. In-water construction is expected to start in summer 2018, and installation of the Mono Bucket foundations will follow in the second quarter of 2019.

Commissioning of the wind farm is expected to take place in the second half of 2019. As the general contractor for the Balance of Plant, Van Oord is also responsible for the manufacturing and installation of the Mono Bucket foundations. On behalf of Northland Deutsche Bucht, K2 Management is responsible for project management throughout the construction phase; Green Giraffe supported Demo project contracting and financing.

With an investment budget of approximately 1.4 billion euros, Deutsche Bucht is Canadian power producer Northland Power’s third North Sea offshore wind farm. Gemini and Nordsee 1, of which Northland Power owns 60 and 85 percent respectively, began operations in 2017.

Mono Bucket fast facts:

  • Overall height: about 61 metres
  • Total weight: 1,100 metric tonnes
  • External diameter of the suction bucket base: approximately 19 metres
  • Designer: Universal Foundation
  • Installation and EPCI contractor: Van Oord
  • Manufacturing subcontractors: SiF and Harland & Wolff