Offshore wind turbine foundations need to be anchored firmly to the seabed. Their installation needs to be done as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, in line with the industry's common goal of lowering overall levelised cost of electricity. At the same time, they have to be effective in different climatic and ground conditions and ensure environmental impact is minimal. This requires sensitive and effective pile driving or hammering techniques that provide for noise mitigation to protect marine life as much as possible and minimal damage to the seabed.
Dutch companies are continuously developing new installation methods, vessels, and tools that meet the harshest of site conditions, improve safety, and lower overall costs by boosting installation efficiency, whilst also protecting marine life during pile driving or hammering and minimising damage to the seabed. Most offshore wind vessels have on-board tools for foundation installation, such as on-board hammer and anvil systems, drilling systems, and piling templates. In this respect, companies have also been successful in ensuring they have state-of-the-art equipment to install the larger size foundations of modern XL and XXL turbines whilst also significantly reducing noise impacts of the installation process, meeting the strictest legislation requirements.
It is not only about ensuring to meet current requirements, but also pre-empt future needs too. Similarly, innovation to protect marine life during pile driving is also a priority. Dutch companies offer a complete range of innovative pile driving/hammering equipment. This includes hydraulic hammers, water hammers (for deeper water depth, these run on water rather the oil, avoiding any risk of oil contamination to the sea) and a monopile installer with integrated noise mitigation and new design features to reduce operational time during the installation period.
The Dutch Approach
The Netherlands is home to some of the world's most experienced and innovative offshore foundation design, manufacturing, and installation companies. With an extremely strong supply chain in this sector, Dutch companies have the design experience, are continuously innovating, and have invested heavily in expanding production capacity. They can provide the right solutions for offshore wind projects in different site conditions around the world. Furthermore, Dutch research institutes, universities, and government agencies are also at the forefront of innovation in foundation design and installation techniques.
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