Aug 8, 2013 - Danish state-owned utility Dong Energy A/S and the University of Oxford will work together on a research project focused on offshore wind turbine foundations with the ultimate goal of cutting the price of offshore wind.
The Oxford-led academic consortium that was chosen for the Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) project also includes researchers from Imperial College London and University College Dublin.
In a statement today Dong Energy said that the joint effort will target reductions in monopile sizes and new ways to install foundations, among other goals. “We believe a significant contribution can come from this area towards our efforts of reducing the price of offshore wind power by 35-40% by 2020,” said Dong Energy Wind Power senior vice president Bent Christensen.
At present a single monopile foundation for a typical offshore turbine weighs around 600 tonnes and is made mainly from steel. The steel is about 100mm (3.9 inches) thick so, according to Dong, if this thickness is cut “even by a fraction” it will result in significant cost savings. This, of course, should be done without affecting the load-carrying capacity and stiffness of the foundation.
The PISA project on which Dong and the academic consortium will partner will last for 18 months from August 1. The Danish company is heading the project's industry group which also includes German RWE (FRA:RWE), Scandinavian companies Statoil (OSL:STL), Statkraft and Vattenfall and Britain’s SSE (LON:SSE) and Scottish Power. The industry group aims to come up with technological solutions that can be implemented in time for the design and construction phase of Britain’s Round 3 offshore wind projects. The final reports of the working group will be available early in 2015.
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