Press release | 2013-05-08 | 13:10 PM

Offshore works for EOWDC could lead to deployment of pioneering foundations

A major programme of offshore works are due to start tomorrow (Thursday, May 9) for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) and which could lead to pioneering turbine foundation designs being developed at the more than £230million test facility.

The programme involves a series of geotechnical boreholes being performed between 2.5km and 4km off Aberdeen’s coast including drilling work to validate the findings of desk top research. The work is being carried out by Fugro Geoconsulting Limited with the geotechnical drilling vessel M/V Markab.

Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, the company driving forward the EOWDC, commissioned the work which is being supported by The Carbon Trust’s flagship research and development scheme, the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA).

EOWDC project spokesman, Iain Todd, said: “This is an exciting development for the project. As a result of discussions with The Carbon Trust, we are investigating the potential to demonstrate innovative foundation designs emerging from the OWA initiative including gravity-based foundations, twisted jackets and suction buckets.

“The geotechnical surveys, which are being conducted as part of the overall development process, will help us gain a further understanding of what is under the seabed and enable us to progress with foundation type selection and design. The opportunity to incorporate next generation foundations into the EOWDC would further enhance the scheme’s position as an industry-leading centre for accelerating the development of offshore wind and associated technology and innovations.”

The OWA is a collaborative initiative which brings together nine offshore wind developers in a joint industry project aimed at working towards reducing the cost of offshore wind by at least 10% by 2015.

Phil de Villiers, Head of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust, said: “EOWDC is a tremendous opportunity for the industry to demonstrate novel foundations tailored for deeper waters. The geotechnical investigations will allow innovative designs to be selected that push right up to the limits of what is technically feasible at the site. The new designs have tremendous potential to drive down the cost of offshore wind, and demonstration at EOWDC will show they are ready for commercial use.”

As part of the geotechnical surveys, which are expected to run for about 10 days, a geotechnical drilling vessel will be mobilised and the work will include sampling and in situ testing in boreholes at four of the 11 proposed turbine locations in water depths ranging from around 22metres to 30metres.

The EOWDC is a cutting-edge demonstration facility for up to 11 turbines and associated technology which, with expected capital expenditure of more than £230 million, would prove to be a major investment in Scotland’s renewables infrastructure and a vital boost to its offshore wind ambitions.

As a global hub of innovation, it will place Aberdeen City and Shire at the heart of the development of new technologies to serve UK Round 3 offshore wind projects and play a vital role in the rapidly-evolving European offshore wind sector by accelerating the growth of an efficient, cost effective and technologically-advanced offshore wind industry.

In March, 2013, the Scottish Government approved consent for the project which has also been awarded up to €40 million of European funding.

The EOWDC is a joint venture between Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and Vattenfall, which is a member of the Carbon Trust’s OWA, along with Technip Offshore Wind as a consortium partner.

Note: Sole responsibility for this document lies with the author. The European Union (EU) is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Notes to editor:

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:
• Advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world.
• Measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services.
• Helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power.
• For further information please contact the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or press@carbontrust.com. Alternatively visit www.carbontrust.com

About Vattenfall

• Vattenfall’s vision is to be a leading European energy company. It is currently Europe’s sixth largest generator of electricity and the continent’s largest producer of heat.
• Celebrating its centenary in 2009, Vattenfall’s ambition is to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2020 to 65 million tonnes.
• Wind power is a cornerstone of Vattenfall’s action on climate change and the UK is a key market for future growth.
• Vattenfall is playing an important role in UK onshore and offshore wind power projects around the UK including developing the substantial East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm, a joint venture with ScottishPower Renewables. In 2010, the company completed the construction of Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, until recently the world’s largest.
• For more information on Vattenfall please go to : http://www.vattenfall.com

About Technip Offshore Wind

• Technip Offshore Wind Ltd, part of the global Technip Group, is a leading provider of specialist offshore wind installation and project management services to the renewable energy industry. With its headquarters in Scotland, Technip Offshore Wind Ltd currently employs over 120 people at its bases in Aberdeen, Tyneside and London.
• The Technip Group is a well-established, global company with a strong reputation, providing project management expertise and a range of products, services and assets to a diverse client base; ranging from large global oil and gas operators to smaller independents.
• For further information on Technip Offshore Wind Ltd and the global Technip Group, visit www.technip.com

About AREG

• AREG, established in 2001, aims to ensure that Aberdeen City and Shire and its businesses play a major role in the renewable energy revolution through initiating and delivering key renewable projects and working with member companies to identify and promote opportunities.
• Membership has grown to almost 200 members including a strong cast of oil and gas majors, technology developers, service, engineering, training, accreditation companies, four local authorities, two universities, development agencies and trade associations.
• The membership also spans every sector of renewable energy including wind, wave, marine, hydro, bio, solar, geothermal energy and hydrogen fuel cells.
• For more information about AREG, please go to: http://www.aberdeenrenewables.com