25,000-tonne floating crane installs sea-bed suction bucket anchors for Aberdeen Bay offshore wind farm test centre

The Asian Hercules-III crane lifts a suction bucket jacket foundation from Peterheid harbour
The Asian Hercules-III crane lifts a suction bucket jacket foundation from Peterheid harbour.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre has successfully anchored the sea-bed suction-bucket foundations for the development offshore Scotland.

The Aberdeen Bay turbine-farm is the first such wind project to deploy the foundations at commercial scale –  with each of the 11 steel jacket foundations weighing in at almost ten Boeing 747s.

One of the world’s largest floating cranes – the 25,000 tonne Asian Hercules III – completed the installation in 15 hours.

Suction bucket jacket foundations can each be installed with a single offshore lift. They are virtually noise-less. They are lowered into the water where the upturned buckets are rapidly embedded into the seabed to create a secure foundation.

The Asian Hercules-III prepares to drop the first suction-bucket anchor in Aiberdeen Bay.
The Asian Hercules-III prepares to drop the first suction-bucket anchor in Aiberdeen Bay.

As Scotland’s largest offshore test and demonstration facility, the 92.4MW EOWDC will trial next generation technology and, once constructed, will generate the equivalent of 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand and annually displace 132,977 tonnes of CO2.

An EOWDC spokesman commented: “By enabling faster and smarter installation, this technology will drive down offshore wind costs considerably, provide a further foundation option at challenging sites, whilst also allowing an easier and complete decommissioning.

These foundations are the first visible structures offshore for the EOWDC which we hope will go some way to help establish Grampian as a centre for offshore wind innovation.”

27 Mar 2018

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