Work by Royal BAM Group for EDF Energy Renewable, via the SPV Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd, to design, build and install the gravity base foundations for the Blyth offshore windfarm in the UK is progressing.
Self-installing foundations developed by BAM Nuttall Ltd and BAM Infra bv will be used to float and sink the base structures off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland. Five concrete and steel foundations are being fabricated by BAM Nuttall using facilities at the Shepherd Offshore Neptune Energy Park in North Tyneside. The project will demonstrate the potential for self-installing concrete gravity bases to provide economic foundations for large wind turbines in deeper water.
The demonstration project contract awarded by EDF Energy Renewables, via SPV Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd, is intended to help prove the viability of self-installing gravity base foundations in the offshore environment. The project is due for completion during the summer of 2017 with the installation of the gravity base foundations, which are 30m in diameter and 60m high, in a water depth of approximately 40m. The composite concrete and steel foundations weigh approximately 13,000 tonnes.
The gravity base foundations are one of a number of innovative technologies that will be tested on the Blyth windfarm. Wholly owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles, the project is being built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. The project will use the latest generation of offshore wind turbines manufactured and installed by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and will be the first project to use 66kV cable technology which will be installed by VMBS, who specialise in subsea power cable installation. The standard voltage for cables has been 33kV until now but with turbines growing in power a higher specification has been developed.
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