DONG Energy has installed the first offshore wind Suction Bucket Jacket at its Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm in Germany.
GeoSea, a subsidiary of the Belgian Deme group, was in charge of the floating load out, transport and installation of this wind turbine jacket foundation.
SPT Offshore was in charge of the suction process.
Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) from the UK also collaborated with Dong Energy to test the new foundation concept.
Situated 37km away from the North West coast of Germany, the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offered an ideal testing ground due to its sandy seabed.
The installation vessel Pacific Orca, which was supplied by DONG Energy, is presently demobilising in Eemshaven.
Tideway, a sister concern of GeoSea, will soon install the armour stones.
DONG Energy vice-president Tove Feld said: "It’s a great day for us. We’ve now installed the very first suction bucket jacket in the offshore wind industry.
"The reduction in cost of electricity and our ability to utilise some of the more challenging sites further from shore and in deeper water show some of the potential that this concept has.
"I’m very excited to see that the cooperation between the partners in this project, not least with Carbon Trust in the UK, is paying off with specific results."
The Suction Bucket Jacket (SBJ) technology had been previously used for offshore oil and gas foundations and offers economic and environmental benefits.
The design of the 850t suction bucket jacket comprises three legs that are welded together in a jacket structure, standing on top of three huge suction buckets anchoring the foundation to the seabed.
A lightweight structure, it only requires a single operation when the foundation is installed offshore, thereby cutting down the time of the installation and reducing the costs of electricity from offshore wind.
Image: The offshore wind Suction Bucket Jacket being installed on the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm. Photo: © 2014 DEME.