Foundation for French offshore wind market

Thursday, 12 February, 2015 - 11:15
The Fécamp met mast is based on a concrete gravity based foundation in a water depth of 30 m. (Foto: MT Højgaard)
The Fécamp met mast is based on a concrete gravity based foundation in a water depth of 30 m. (Foto: MT Højgaard)

A major step was recently taken in the French offshore wind market with the installation of the Fécamp met mast in the English Channel. This marks not only a further step towards opening up the French offshore wind market, but also the first installation of a concrete gravity based foundation in deep waters.

MT Højgaard has installed the first of its Seatower Cranefree foundation to a depth of nearly 30 metres on the seabed of the English Channel, off the French town of Fécamp on the Normandy coast. The foundation was lowered by filling seawater into ballast tanks on the foundation. Prior, the seabed was prepared by establishing a level layer of filter stones. Tugs transported the 1,760-ton foundation and the met mast from Le Havre harbour to the installation site approximately 17 km off the coast.

“The installation of the met mast foundation is an important milestone for the industry in general, as the installation costs of offshore wind projects must be minimised to make offshore wind energy financially sustainable,” says Kim R. Andersen, Vice President of Offshore & Steel Bridges at MT Højgaard. “The technology behind the foundation is well-known and based on experiences from the oil and gas, tunnel, and bridge industries. However, this is the first time that this type of foundation and installation concept has been utilised on the offshore wind market, and it will be interesting to draw on experience from this project in future large scale projects,” he adds.

The foundation was designed by Seatower and manufactured by Eiffage TP in France, while MT Højgaard performed the installation. The prototype foundation is part of a development project in connection with the planned offshore wind farm Fécamp in France, owned by the French energy company EDF Energies Nouvelles, Danish-based Dong Energy and German-based wpd Offshore

Katharina Garus

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