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World’s Deepest Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation Installed in Scotland

deepest and most foundation at Scottish wind farm
The deepest foundation went in as they also set a record for the most suction caisson foundations at a single offshore wind farm (Seaway 7)

Published Apr 17, 2023 1:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

For the second time during the construction of Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, they have set a new record for the deepest installation of fixed bottom foundations. The achievement came as the Seagreen Wind Farm site, located nearly 17 miles off the east coast of Scotland in the North Sea, completed the installation of the most suction caisson foundations at any offshore wind farm. 

SSE Renewables which is developing the wind farm along with its ownership partner TotalEnergies reports that the installation of the deepest foundation took place on April 9 at a depth of just over 192 feet. The same wind farm had set the prior record in October 2022 at a depth of 188 feet. The companies highlighted that the wind farm is located in a challenging area and is being installed with several wind turbines in water depths of more than 180 feet.

"This is not only a significant step on the road to project completion but also shows how we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of technology to power change,” said Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE. “Everyone involved in the project can be very proud of their contribution.”

The installation came at the start of the last week of this phase of the wind farm project which has been ongoing for 18 months. On April 7 the jacket which weighs approximately 2,000 tons was transported to the project site on a barge operated by main contractor Seaway 7. Once it arrived at the site, it was met by the Saipem 7000, the semisubmersible crane vessel which is used to lift each foundation into place.

 

Deepest foundation was installed at over 192 feet during the last week of the installation phase at Seagreen (SSE)

 

"Reaching this major milestone is testament to the skill of our project team and all our contractors including those who are part of our Scottish and UK supply chain,” said John Hill, Seagreen’s Project Director. "More than 50 people are involved each time a foundation installation takes place including the onshore team, ballast engineer, tug captain, crew, riggers, welders, tow master, and pilot.”

The milestone installation was also the 112th jacket at the 114-wind turbine wind farm. The final wind turbine foundation was installed on April 13 marking the conclusion of this phase of the project. The first turbine was installed in October 2021. Each foundation supports a Vestas V164-10 MW turbine. 

“This achievement is the culmination of more than three years of hard work since the contract award to Seaway 7 in June 2020 and sets a new benchmark for jacket fabrication and transportation of this scale in the offshore wind farm industry,” noted Lloyd Duthie, Vice President UK, Ireland and Asia at Seaway 7.

The Crown Estate awarded the site to the developers in 2010 and after years of planning and approvals the staging and installation of materials for the wind farm began in 2021. First power was achieved at Seagreen in August 2022 with the offshore wind farm expected to enter commercial operation later this year. When complete, the 1.1GW wind farm will be capable of generating around 5,000 GWh of renewable energy annually which is enough to power more than 1.6 million UK homes.