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Innovative Installation Test in German Baltic Sea

For the first time ever, a free-floating ship will be used for the turbine installation of the Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea. Normally, the installation ships are jacked up during their work.

Image: Hereema Marine ContractorsImage: Hereema Marine Contractors

Developer Parkwind, ship operator Heerema Marine Contractors and turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind have been working for more than a year on the development of this innovative ship, which is now to be used for the first time.

The Arcadis Ost 1 offshore wind farm, located 20 km northeast of the island of Rügen, consists of 27 MHI Vestas V174-9.5 MW turbines mounted on monopile foundations and an offshore transformer station. The wind farm will supply an estimated 300,000 German households with green electricity.

In view of the difficult soil conditions at the site, Parkwind investigated possible alternatives to conventional installation methods and, together with the other companies involved, developed the floating installation method.

This innovative installation method offers two advantages, as it avoids any contact with the ground and at the same time shortens the installation time. The floating installation contributes to a further overall cost reduction for offshore wind energy and opens up opportunities for the construction of offshore wind farms to other areas worldwide.

How does the installation work?

The installation ship has all turbine components on deck, including a 'dummy tower' that provides a stable platform to assemble the nacelle and rotor blades. The first step is to lift the real turbine tower onto the pre-assembled foundation.

The second step is the new element in the assembly process: lifting the nacelle onto the dummy tower and attaching the rotor blades. This process ensures full control over the rotor blades and thus enables a safe and highly reliable assembly. Once all the components have been assembled, they are hoisted together onto the already assembled tower.

"Taking the turbine installation based on a floating vessel from theory to practice is a major step forward for the offshore wind industry,” commented Parkwind’s co-CEO Eric Antoons.  "Supported by Heerema Marine Contractors and MHI Vestas, we saw this as the best solution for our German Arcadis Ost 1 project where soil conditions are challenging." 

Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, CEO of Heerema Marine Contractors, adds: "In our Simulation Center, we created an authentic visualization of the local situation, including crane and vessel controls, realistic weather conditions, sea swell patterns and seabed conditions. This collaboration led to an innovative method which will be used for the installation of turbines in the Arcadis Ost 1 wind park. Heerema Marine Contractors is very proud to participate in this unique project. It shows our ambition to remain a frontrunner in the offshore energy market, and our commitment to operate in wind projects all over the world.”

Windfair Staff
Parkwind, Hereema Marine Contractors, MHI Vestas, turbine, vessel, installation, floating, Arcadis Ost 1, Baltic Sea, site, assembly, innovation, Germany

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