Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “offshore”

TFliner XL

It is possible to install an offshore wind-turbine without the use of a sophisticated but expensive self-lifting sea-jack ship, like the Aeolus (see video at the bottom of this post). During installation the ship is held in place with the DP-2 dynamic positioning system.

[] – Dynamic positioning

Fourfold functionality TFliner XL for offshore wind turbine installations:

1. installing monopile foundation
2. installing transition pieces
3. installing jacket type foundations
4. reel-lay spread

The ship can handle 75 m monopiles of max. 900 ton, jacket type foundations of 600 ton and transition pieces of 300 ton.

[] – TFliner XL data sheet

Suction Bucket Foundation Offshore Wind Turbines

Advantages 8 m deep suction buckets over 25-30 m deep hammered monopiles: no noise, easier to decommission. Suitable for water depths of 30-60 m and larger wind-turbines like 10 MW.

Suction caissons (also referred to as suction anchors, suction piles or suction buckets) are a new form of fixed platform anchor that have a number of advantages over conventional offshore foundations, mainly being quicker to install than deep foundation piles and being easier to remove during decommissioning. Suction caissons are now used extensively worldwide for anchoring large offshore installations, like oil platforms, offshore drillings and accommodation platforms to the seafloor at great depths. In recent years suction caissons also see usage for offshore wind turbines in more shallow waters.

[] – how the ‘suction bucket’ technique works (Guardian)

[] – Suction caisson

Read more…

Sif Awarded Trianel Windpark Borkum II Monopile Contract

Sif Group in Roermond, the Netherlands, has been awarded to deliver all required 32 monopiles of 1,000 ton each, carrying 6.2M152 turbines. The new windpark Borkum-II will be located in the German sector of the North Sea and will have a nameplate power of 203 MW.

1 monopile: think 1200 cars worth of steel.

[] – Sif-Smulders Team Bags Trianel Windpark Borkum II Contract
[] – Sif to Build Trianel Windpark Borkum II Monopiles
[] – Trianel Windpark Borkum
[] – Company site

Sif Group is expanding its offshore activities from Roermond in the East of the country to the newly build reclaimed land Maasvlakte.

Read more…

Floating Wind Turbines

For shallow waters like in the North Sea, fixed monopile-based wind turbines are preferred. But for deeper waters this option doesn’t exist. Nevertheless there are very lucrative wind locations, for instance between Britain and Norway or West of Ireland in the Atlantic and that’s just Europe. With floating wind turbines these wind resources can be utilized as well.

Currently many floating wind turbine projects are in the pipeline:

Floating Wind Projects

Project name Capacity Country Expected commissioning date
Hywind Scotland 30 MW Scotland 2017
Kincardine 48 MW Scotland From 2018
Dounreay Tri 2 x 5 MW Scotland 2018
WindFloat Atlantic 30 MW Portugal 2018-2019
French pre-commercial farms 4 x 25 MW France 2020
Atlantis/Ideol project 100 MW UK 2021
Gaelectic 30 MW Ireland 2021

[] – European Floating Offshore Wind Ready For The Big Time

[] – Electrifying the future
[] – Floating Offshore Wind Vision Statement (pdf, June 2017)
[] – Floating wind turbine

Veja Mate Offshore Wind Farm Installation

[] – Veja Mate Offshore Wind Farm (402 MW)

Global Offshore Wind Speeds Ranking


Global data resource with more than 1,000 offshore locations that could be used for building wind farms. The data set is ordered after average wind speed. Every location links to information about the status of the wind farm, if any.

Spoiler: best location is Taiwan Strait.

[] – Global Offshore Wind Speeds Rankings

Country Ranking Cumulative Offshore Wind

[] – Offshore wind power

China Threatens Philippines With War Over South China Sea

[source] The near future, “People’s Liberation Army” storming the beaches of the Philippines?

China’s president warned the Philippines that it would go to war if Manila insisted on enforcing an international arbitration decision rejecting China’s claims over disputed areas of the South China Sea, the Philippine president said in a televised speech on Friday, May 19.

Xi’s threat was unmistakable. This was Xi’s message: “We’re friends as long as you accept the fact that the South China Sea is ours, all of it including the portion you call the West Philippine Sea. As long as you accept this, we will provide you with generous loans to fund your infrastructure projects. But if you drill for oil there, we will declare war on you.”

Philippines president Duterte going public and spilling the beans about Chinese threats, possibly in an attempt to seek international (read: American) help, after the UN has declared Chinese claims null and void?

The reason for this sudden aggressive tone could be the successful Chinese effort to begin to continuously mine methane hydrates, 9 days earlier in the South China Sea. Estimates of 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent, that is 50 years Chinese oil consumption equivalent. An additional advantage would be that China could shift from dirty coal to natural gas, alleviating Chinese cities pollution.

[] – Duterte Says Xi Warned Philippines of War Over South China Sea
[] – Why China will declare war if PH drills for oil

China Claims Breakthrough Methane Hydrates Mining

Chinese authorities claim to have achieved a major breakthrough in mining methane hydrates in the form of ice from the floor of the South China Sea (SCS), that could lead to a global energy revolution. The fuel was discovered in 2007 but for the first time China is able to mine it in a continuous process from a floating rig in the SCS. Depth: 1,200 m. Since production began on May 10, 2017, 120,000 m3 pure gas-hydrate has been extracted. Japan reported similar successes.

The US-DOE estimates that global methane hydrates reserves could be bigger than all other sources of fossil fuel combined. However, mining of methane hydrates is potentially environmentally dangerous, because methane is one of the worst green house gasses.

[source] Chinese crew celebrating success

[] – China successfully mines flammable ice from the South Sea
[] – Methane Hydrates: China’s Real South China Sea Goal?

DanTysk Wind Park Installation

German language documentary about the construction of the DanTysk offshore wind park.

[] – DanTysk (“Danish-German”)

Gemini Wind Farm Live Data

Gemini, that’s the two tiny trapezoids at the top of the map, measuring together merely 68 km2. In the Dutch part of the North Sea there is enough space for many, many Gemini’s more, in theory 57,000/68=838 more or 503 GW nameplate power, that could not only easily provide the Dutch electricity needs for 100% (Dutch average electricity consumption is 12.7 GW), but additionally could turn the Netherlands in a significant electricity exporter to the rest of the EU. Average EU electricity consumption 342 GW. Note that the Dutch part is only 25% of the 200,000 km2 North Sea that cold be utilized for fixed (monopile-based) wind turbines, amounting to, in theory, 2,000 GW nameplate wind power. If you divide that number by two to account for variability and maintenance, you arrive at 1,000 GW, which is still three times the EU current electricity consumption. Note that there is also the Irish Sea and Baltic with plenty of opportunity.

Dutch part Continental Shelf of the North Sea, with 57,000 km2 larger than the Netherlands itself (41,543 km2).

Live data from the with 600 MW (currently) 2nd largest offshore wind farm in the world: Gemini in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

[] – Click this link for live data
[] – Gemini Windpark animation
[] – Gemini Wind Farm

Overview Offshore Windparks

Wind farm name Power in MW Location Turbines Commission Date
London Array 630 United Kingdom 175 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120 2012
Gemini Wind Farm 600 Netherlands 150 × Siemens SWT-4.0 2017
Gwynt y Môr 576 United Kingdom 160 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107 2015
Greater Gabbard 504 United Kingdom 140 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107 2012
Anholt 400 Denmark 111 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120 2013
BARD Offshore 1 400 Germany 80 × BARD 5.0MW 2013
Global Tech I 400 Germany 80 × Areva Multibrid M5000 5.0MW 2015
West of Duddon Sands 389 United Kingdom 108 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120 2014
Walney (phases 1&2) 367 United Kingdom 102 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107 2011 (phase 1) 2012 (phase 2)
Thorntonbank (phases 1–3) 325 Belgium 6 × Senvion 5MW, 48 × Senvion 6.15MW 2009 (phase 1) 2012 (phase 2) 2013 (phase 3)

For an up-to-date top-25 list with additional data, like location and detailed Wikipedia wind farm description as well as a list of sites under construction, c.q. planned, go to:

[] – List of offshore wind farms

Suitable Offshore Wind Locations

Offshore wind has numerous advantages over onshore wind: higher wind speeds, easy and rapid installation once you have the proper seajack equipment, no problems with ‘not-in-my-backyard’ activists, no sacrifice of valuable land, no ‘horizon pollution’, spectacular price decay, sheer limitless potential. Below an overview of projects at an advanced planning stage.


Dutch offshore plans, more than 17 GW, the real potential is far larger. Currently 4.45 GW offshore are realized c.q. planned to be built before 2023

[source] Dutch offshore tenders

Dutch parliamentarians call for more ambitious 2023 target (up to 11 GW)

[] – Dutch MPs Call For Extension of 2023 Offshore Wind Capacity Target

Read more…

The Market for Offshore Installation Vessels

[source] Forget about North Sea oil platforms. Offshore Wind Installation Vessels Market to Hit $2.93B by 2020

The global market for offshore wind installation vessels will rise from $0.56 billion in 2014 to approximately $2.93 billion by 2020, resulting in a growth rate of 30%/year, illustrating the potential for offshore wind. The growth in installation vessels will go hand in hand with the growth of annual installed offshore wind capacity from 1.78 GW in 2014 to approximately 7.85 GW by 2020. Europe is the largest offshore wind market by far with 90% in 2013. Vessel growth from two in 2005 to more than 40 by the end of 2014.

An essential condition for this growth to continue is that the EU keeps loyal to its renewable energy policy and does not let itself deter by president Trump’s recent decision to trash the Paris Climate Accords. Instead, this act should be seen by Europe and its industry as a great opportunity to get the global upper-hand in this crucial form of energy generation, comparable to Anglo dominance in the oil industry of the 20th century (#SevenSisters).

[] – Offshore projects face vessel shortage for large turbines until 2018

September 2015 – The European offshore wind industry has a fleet of more than 75 vessels to support it, but almost half of the jack-up vessels in use are not capable of installing the 8-MW turbines now planned for some projects… Around half the fleet is not equipped to handle deep-water monopile installations, limited to a maximium depth limit of 30 metres for 3.3-MW turbines. Developers continue to convert existing vessels not originally designed to handle the new higher-capacity structures… Currently only around a dozen vessels are fully adapted for work in the offshore wind industry, the report said, and only seven in the world are capable of handling monopiles weighing more than 1,000 tons… Of 22 wind industry support vessels known to be under construction or in planning, only half a dozen have firm delivery dates.

[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age

Upgrade Aeolus Offshore Wind Installation Vessel

Damen Shiprepair yard at Schiedam in the Netherlands has been awarded to carry out the upgrading of the Van Oord Aeolus offshore wind installation vessel. The existing 900 tonnes crane will be replaced by a 1,600 tonnes LEC (Leg Encircling Crane) in order for the Aeolus to be able to install larger wind turbines. Work is to begin in September 2017 and the upgraded vessel will be operational in Spring 2018.

The Aeolus was previously active in offshore wind projects Gemini, Luchterduinen and in the Irish Sea and will take on new projects after her upgrade like offshore windfarm Borssele 3 & 4 in the Netherlands and Norther in Belgium.

[] – Van Oord signs contract for modification offshore installation vessel Aeolus
[Google Maps] – Damen Shiprepair Schiedam

Offshore Wind Turbine Production Steps

1. Digging out iron ore from the ground

2. Transportation iron ore to sea port

3. Loading iron ore onto ship

4. From ore to steel plate in blast furnace

5. From steel plate for monopile and tower

6. Seajack installation vessel picks up monopiles, tower pieces and (sometimes) nacelle and installs the complete machine at sea at a pace of at least one wind tower per day

Read more…

Helicopter Visit to Offshore Wind Farms

Pictures from Butendiek and Godewind wind farms, located in the North Sea off the German coast.

[] – Gode Wind Farm
[] – Offshore-Windpark Butendiek

A Flight Through Gemini Offshore Wind Park

The Gemini wind farm was decommissioned on May 8, 2017. The same wind farm would today cost ca. 1.8 billion euro rather than 2.8 billion.

[] – Gemini Wind Farm
[] – Gemini live data

Dutch 20:00 news presents the commissioning of Gemini wind farm.

Anholt Offshore Wind Farm Denmark

Largest offshore wind park in Denmark and third largest in the world.
Turbines: 111 Siemens SWT-3.6-120
Commission date: September 2013
Water depth: 14-17 m
Capacity factor: 48.7%
Power: 400 MW

[] – Anholt Offshore Wind Farm


The Seven Brothers – Europe Taking Lead in US Offshore

Click for very large photo

The outgoing oil age was dominated by the so-called Seven Sisters, the giant Anglo [*] oil companies Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP), Gulf Oil (later part of Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil Company of California (SoCal, now Chevron), Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Esso, later Exxon), Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony, later Mobil, now part of ExxonMobil), Texaco (later merged into Chevron).

[*] – if we categorize the Dutch as “Anglo-Germans”.

[] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)

It looks like wind is going to play a major role in the energy generation of the 21st century, taking over from 20th century oil and that this time the rising industry will be dominated by European firms:

[deepresource] – Ten Largest Wind Turbines To Date
[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age

  • The 19th century was dominated by British coal and Britain was the dominant power.
  • The 20th century was dominated by American oil and America was the dominant power.
  • The 21st century… ah well, you get the message.

[] – U.S. Offshore Wind Poised to Boom — for Europeans
[] – The US gets its first offshore wind farm, with a lot of help from Europe

Post Navigation