Atkins acts as technical advisor for EDF Energy Renewables’ Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm

Atkins has been acting as Technical Advisor to EDF Energy Renewables for the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm and, with the wind farm under construction, is now moving into a delivery role on the project during the construction phase.

Atkins seconded experts from its offshore renewables team into the client project team to review the designs and provide additional assurance and risk management services, and was later appointed to carry out technical assurance review services working with the EDF Energy Renewables team. With the wind farm now under construction, Atkins is now providing technical support during construction and for turbine and foundation delivery.

Fran McCord, design assurance and quality engineer for the foundation package, was seconded from Atkins into EDF Energy in December 2015. She said: “This is a novel project for the UK and for the wider industry, and it’s a very exciting one to have been involved in. Our offshore wind technical expertise, as well as our experience in oil and gas marine structures, has been important to ensuring the overall designs will work offshore by flagging modifications earlier for example, helping to save time and money.”

Faisal Razzaq, project manager in Atkins’ Energy UK & Europe business, said: “This project has been a great opportunity for Atkins to show that we can do more than just foundation design. From just a single person originally seconded into the client’s office, we now have had a large team working on this project drawing in expertise from around the Energy business. The feedback from our partners has been very positive, and the project has been a learning experience for all involved.”

The project is unique in that it will use hybrid concrete gravity base foundations, a structure more commonly found in oil and gas platforms. Although this will be the first time they have been used for offshore wind turbines, Atkins’ long experience in designing offshore wind foundations (including monopiles and jackets) as well as 40 years’ working in the oil and gas sector has been invaluable in reviewing the designs.

The foundations were designed and built by BAM-Nuttall group on the Tyne, and will be floated out to site, then sunk in position with ballast (water and sand) keeping the foundations in place. The wind farm will be located approximately 6km from the coast of Northumberland producing enough electricity to power around 34,000 homes, from five Vestas 8.3MW turbines.

Atkins, EDF Energy Renewables, offshore, Blyth

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