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Wärtsilä and Investors Advance New Wind Turbine Installation Concept

wind installation system concept
Concept uses a combination of a pilling vessel with a vessel to install turbines and supported by a SOV (EnCap)

Published Dec 1, 2022 6:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

Texas-based Bleutec Industries reports it is making progress on the development of a revolutionary new concept for the installation of offshore wind farms. The report reports its system would provide a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive heavy-lift jack-up Wind Turbine Installation Vessels. After announcing that it has received a significant financial investment, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wärtsilä naming the technology group as the system integrator for Bleutec’s innovative Binary Marine Installation Solution (BMIS).

Bleutec’s concept for the BMIS system divides the operations using three vessels. The BMIS would be built around a Piling Installation Vessel (PIV), a Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Light (WTIVL), and Service Operation Vessels (SOV).

“We see the Bleutec BMIS as being a game-changer for the offshore wind industry, and we are excited to have been involved from its early stages. As the system integrator, we will continue to work closely with all the parties to bring the project to a successful conclusion,” says George Franssen, Account Manager New Builds Americas, Wärtsilä.

The first of the components in this approach is the PIV which would feature a gantry crane, capable of lifting up to 4,500 metric tons, a hydraulic hammer, and deck space for the piles. Paired with it would be the WTIVL which will install wind turbines of up to approximately 22 megawatts on the foundations previously installed by the PIV. The SOVs will provide the necessary accommodation and crew support services while working at locations with depths up to approximately 200 feet. 

 

Bleutec's SOV would support the two installation vessels (Bleutec)

 

According to the company, the vessels, which will all be Jones Act compliant, would provide an alternative to the more expensive heavy-lift jack-up Wind Turbine Installation Vessels currently being utilized by offshore wind contractors in Europe. All vessels are designed to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines paired with Wärtsilä’s hybrid Battery Energy Storage Systems and will incorporate the latest advances in Dynamic Positioning.

“Wärtsilä has taken an active role in this project, and their technical expertise and broad experience are very important to the success of the concept,” says Robin Bodtmann, CEO of Bleutec. “In particular, we appreciate their industry-leading efforts in developing sustainable technologies that will largely define the industry’s future.”

Bleutec is moving to the next phase of the development of its vessel design after receiving financial support from EnCap Investments. The investment company, which is focused on the U.S. energy industry, has raised 23 institutional investment funds totaling approximately $39 billion and currently manages capital on behalf of more than 350 U.S. and international investors. They are reported to be making a “significant capital commitment” and Bleutec’s management will invest alongside EnCap in the company.

The company’s goal is to deploy its new installation concept during the early part of 2026.