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Wednesday, 13 January 2016 11:22

Listen: Constructing a mega offshore wind farm

Gemini Wind Park CEO, Matthias Haag, talks about what it took to construct one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.

The Gemini Wind Park will significantly reduce carbon for The Netherlands and increase the country’s wind power by more than a third, in a single project. First power is expected early this year with commercial operation scheduled for 2017.

Not visible from land, the project posed some challenges and saw some clever innovations. For one, the project took place over tidal flats with water depth varying from 0m to 4m deep, which meant that traditional offshore construction methods couldn’t be applied.

The project team also had to cross two cables through directional drilling from one rig to another, without seeing entry or exit, which is relatively unique.
 
Another challenge was that the cable couldn’t be installed with the machinery typically used for this purpose because the cable weight was too much to fit on the machine. Therefore, the cable had to be floated out, which made for quite an interesting approach.

Interestingly, The Netherlands only allows foundations to be installed during the second half of the year, so careful modelling and planning in terms of the weather was done and two vessels employed to ensure that the 150 foundations were installed within the six months to avoid delay.

To listen to the talk and explore this project in more detail, click here.