All 30 foundations for the Riffgat offshore wind farm, planned in collaboration by EWE and Enova, are now installed in the North Sea. Work on the foundation structures came just in time scheduled for completion. The construction area off the coast of Borkum is thus prepared for the arrival of the actual wind turbines in thespring.
“I am very happy that we have successfully overcome an important and challenging phase with dedication and experience,” said project manager Wilfried Hube from EWE. “We will now first take care of the cabling within the wind farm and then building the foundations for substation, before the next year’s installation of the topside of the substation and the wind turbines.” It is planned that from the summer of 2013 the first eco-friendly electricity will flow and that Riffgat will annually supply approximately 120,000 households.
During the construction of about 80 days, since the first pile was installed in mid-June, 23,000 tons of steel have been installed. A total of 200 people over the last few weeks were working at sea.
Each foundation consists of up to 70 meters long and up to750 tons of heavy foundation pile, which was driven up to 40 meters deep into the seabed. Moreover, each is known as a transition piece, which later connects the tower of the wind turbine with the foundation pile.
When setting the foundations, an innovative technology was used to protect the environment. So when the ramming the piles produced noise, it was damped with a double-walled, pipe-shaped sound-blocking wall of steel, which was in commercial use for the first time.
“Currently, we do not plan any additional offshore wind farm, but we focus on the successful implementation of Riffgat and the further expansion of the services business with third parties. First successes here are that our experiences are needed in this area,” says Dr. Jörg Buddenberg, sales manager in charge for renewable energy of EWE GmbH. This way, the existing EWE’s offshore expertise continues to remain available for the energy future in Germany.
Subsea World News Staff, September 07, 2012; Image: Riffgat