- 19 kilometres off Walney Island, Cumbria, United Kingdom
- 87 foundations
- 659 megawatts of renewable generating capacity
- capable of supplying more than 500,000 UK homes with renewable electricity
Van Oord has completed the installation of scour protection and the transport and installation of the 87 foundations for the Walney Extension offshore wind farm. When operational late in 2018, the world’s largest offshore wind farm will be capable of supplying renewable energy to more than half a million households in the United Kingdom. It will contribute to governmental targets to ensure that 15% of the UK’s energy is being produced sustainably by 2020. Offshore installation vessel Aeolus and heavy lift installation vessel Svanen played important roles in the efficient construction of the offshore wind farm.
Logistical and technical challenges
After the successful completion of Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind project in 2016, Van Oord again reached agreement with DONG Energy to build a new offshore wind farm. The project had both logistical and technical challenges. Simply transporting the foundation elements to Belfast from various locations spread across Europe was a logistical puzzle in itself. The monopiles were installed safely by our top duo Svanen and Aeolus well within the tight time schedule. In addition to the traditional method of installing foundations with the Aeolus jacked (standing on legs), the installation vessel accomplished a new first by installing the transition pieces while floating.
Walney Extension will be cablable of delivering clean electricity to more than half a million homes in the United Kingdom. I’m very glad to be working with Van Oord on the biggest offshore wind farm ever. Building it will bring us significantly closer to achieving our aim of having 6.5 gigawatts of installed capacity online by 2020.
Specialised offshore wind equipment
Van Oord’s modern Aeolus was upgraded even further for this project. Thanks to innovative modifications, the vessel can also do its work while afloat. When using this method, it is extremely important to maintain the stability of the vessel throughout the installation cycle. While the Svanen has anchors to keep it in place during floating installation, the Aeolus used Dynamic Positioning (DP) to maintain a stable position. Prior to this project, the Svanen was also modified to the newest standards, engineered by our in-house experts.
The floating installation of the transition pieces was necessary because the soil conditions at most of the locations were inadequate to allow us to use the more conventional installation method of jacking up the vessel. The modifications to both vessels, which were engineered in-house and used on-site, and the experienced team on site contributed to highly efficient installation cycles.
The Walney Extension offshore wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018, at which time it will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world
By partnering up with Van Oord again after the successful completion of our Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind project enabled us both to optimise our work methods even further.
Start date12 November 2016
End date11 August 2017
LocationIrish Sea, approximately 19 kilometres off Walney Island, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Business UnitOffshore Wind Projects