IT may be a small victory over a climate change denier like Donald Trump. But seeing the final turbine installed at the site he hoped would never happen must have felt good for all involved in the Vattenfall led project.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – to give it its Sunday name – witnessed what bosses believed to be the world’s fastest installation of a gigantic, game-changing suction bucket jacket foundation.
Saturday’s installation comes just 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 just a few days away, we now move on to the final commissioning phase of the wind farm prior to first power later this summer.”
He added: “One of our 1,800 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.”
MHI Vestas Chief Operations Officer, Flemming Ougaard, said: “We’re excited to see that the last turbine has been safely installed at Aberdeen Bay with our partner, Vattenfall. With clean power set to soon flow to the national grid from all 11 turbines, we very much look forward to operations and service at the new offshore wind park.”
The 93.2MW EOWDC, which is scheduled to generate first power in the summer, will produce the equivalent of more than 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand and annually displace 134,128 tonnes of CO2.
It features nine 8.4MW turbines along with two 8.8MW models which both represent an industry first in that they are the first of this power capability to be deployed commercially in the offshore wind industry.
Donald Trump tried to have planning blocked, saying it would spoil the outlook from his North-East golf course.
But Vattenfall pushed ahead, and after Brexit, with around £300m invested in the project,
It won’t just provide huge amounts of power to the Aberdeen area, but act as a test bed for future technologies trying to find cost effective ways of delivering and connecting energy to the grid and users.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Read: An innovative wind scheme
IMAGE CREDITS: Big Partnership/EOWDC