Germany: EWE Installs First Monopile at Riffgat Offshore Wind Farm
Off the coast of Borkum, the construction phase starts on Riffgat offshore wind farm, developed by EWE in collaboration with Enova. After about twelve years of planning time, the first of a total of 30 foundation piles (monopiles) has been installed into the seabed.
It is up to 70 meters long and has up to about 800 tons of steel pipes, which are driven 40 meters deep into the ground.
“With the ramming of the piles we start the construction phase of the project – the fact is that the team has been working a long time,” says project manager Wilfried Hube. “Even better is that we are finally now installing on the sea and seeing that Riffgat is growing.”
The water depth in the construction area is 18 to 23 meters, so that the tops of the monopile towers extend only a few meters from the water. They are then set to transition pieces.
Transportation and ramming of the 30 monopiles is being carried out by “Oleg Strashnov,” a 183-foot crane ship. A total of ten times, the special ship will operate for the next two months between the construction site and the Dutch port of Vlissingen, where the foundation piles are provided. They were fabricated in Aviles Spain.
After the completion, the Riffgat offshore wind farm will consist of 30 wind turbines with a capacity of 108 MW. This amount of power can supply about 120,000 households with environmentally friendly electricity from summer 2013.
Offshore WIND staff, June 15, 2012; Image: Riffgat