The final turbine for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), a Vestas 8.8 MW unit, has been successfully installed, with the project recording what is believed to be the world’s fastest installation of a gigantic, game-changing suction bucket jacket foundation.
The turbine installation on 26 May came only nine weeks after the first foundation for the 11-turbine EOWDC scheme off Aberdeen Bay was deployed in the North Sea.
Adam Ezzamel, EOWDC project director at Vattenfall, said: “This is a magnificent offshore engineering feat for a project that involves industry-first technology and innovative approaches to the design and construction. Throughout construction, the project team and our contractors have encountered, tackled and resolved a number of challenges. The erection of the final turbine is a significant milestone, and with the completion of array cable installation, we can now move on to the final commissioning phase of the wind farm prior to first power later this summer.
“Our 1800 tonne suction bucket jacket foundation was installed in what we believe is a world record of two hours and 40 minutes from the time the installation vessel entered the offshore site until deployment was complete. What makes this even more significant is that the EOWDC is the first offshore wind project to deploy this kind of foundation at commercial scale while it’s also the first to pair them with the world’s most powerful turbines.
“Full credit goes to the expertise of our project team and contractors who have worked collaboratively and vigorously to achieve this remarkable milestone in such a short timescale. As a flagship project for the North-east, the EOWDC helps underline the region’s status as Europe’s energy capital and reinforces Vattenfall’s vision to be fossil free within one generation.”
The ground-breaking 93.2MW EOWDC, which is scheduled to generate first power in the summer, features nine 8.4MW turbines along with two 8.8MW models – an industry first in that they are the first of this power rating to be deployed commercially in the offshore wind industry.