Photo: GROW

Research project on sustainable installation of XXL monopiles launched

A research project on sustainable installation and decommissioning of XXL monopiles for large next-generation offshore wind turbines has been launched in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) will give EUR 4 million to support the project, called Sustainable Installation of XXL Monopiles (SIMOX), with the participating companies investing EUR 2 million.

The three-year project aims to have innovative technologies for the installation of large wind turbines commercially available within five years by testing multiple techniques to enable the installation and decommissioning of XXL monopiles in a sustainable, cost-effective, societally and environmentally acceptable manner.

The project is part of the GROW programme and is led by the team of Prof. Andrei Metrikine of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).

The project partners include Boskalis, Delft Offshore Turbine, Deltares, Royal IHC, RWE, Seaway 7, Shell, Sif Netherlands, TNO, TU Delft and Van Oord (all part of the GROW consortium), and CAPE Holland, GBM Works and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. 

Deltares and TNO will take active part in research and test campaign. The offshore contractors Van Oord, Boskalis and Seaway 7 will lead the on- and nearshore tests, supported by DOT (Delft Offshore Turbine), whereas equipment manufacturers Sif, IHC IQIP, CAPE Holland and GBM Works will provide the monopiles and installation technologies.

Operational aspects will be monitored and assessed by Shell, RWE and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Finally, the project will involve environmental and regional economic stakeholders in an early stage.

“SIMOX is unique in its comprehensive approach to understand and assess multiple technologies under similar, controlled conditions. Tests with scaled monopiles will be performed in laboratories, at two onshore sites and at a nearshore site. This is also a good example of how the GROW consortium wants to (co)operate: a joint effort to tackle a challenge that is relevant for the offshore wind industry as a whole”, said David de Jager, director of GROW.