MPI Offshore is pleased to announce that MPI Discovery yesterday installed the first foundation for E.ON at the Amrumbank West wind farm in the North Sea. This new wind farm, 37 km north west of the island of Helgoland, is part of E.ON’s further expansion in the renewables business.
To assist in the construction of Amrumbank West, and for other offshore projects, E.ON has chartered MPI Discovery for several years. The vessel, a self-elevating turbine-installation vessel, is loaded with material in Cuxhaven and proceeds to the deepwater site. It lowers six legs on to the seabed and then raises itself hydraulically above the surface of the sea, creating a stable platform for operating the ram and cranes it uses to install foundations, towers and turbines. The ram is used to drive the 60m- long steel tubular monopile foundations roughly 30m into the seabed at water depths of up to 24m. The entire foundation structure, which consists of the monopile and the transition piece, weighs about 900 metric tons. E.ON is using a state-of-the-art system to reduce waterborne noise during pile-driving.
Capital expenditures on the project will total about €1 billion. Amrumbank West is another example of how E.ON is significantly reducing the costs of building and operating offshore wind farms. “We are drawing on all the expertise we have gathered from our offshore facilities in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia and from the construction and operation of Alpha Ventus in Germany, which was the world’s first deepwater wind farm,” Eckhardt Rümmler, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON Climate & Renewables, said. He added that E.ON wants to position itself as the cost leader in building and operating large-scale offshore projects. “Offshore wind is on the road to becoming a reliable and cost-effective source of electricity” Rümmler said. “Amrumbank West will help take us significantly closer to this goal.”
Amrumbank West will extend over 32km2, an area larger than 4,700 soccer fields. Its 80 technologically advanced 3.6 megawatt turbines will give it a total capacity of 288 megawatts, enough to power 300,000 households. Amrumbank West is scheduled to be completed and to enter service in the late summer of 2015.