July 3 (Renewables Now) - A consortium including offshore foundation company Universal Foundation, which is majority owned by Fred Olsen Ocean, has secured funding under a Danish programme for a trial installation of a new suction bucket concept prototype.
The consortium has been awarded EUR 3.8 million (USD 4.4m) by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP) of the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. It is comprised of Universal Foundation, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE), Aalborg University, Fred Olsen Windcarrier and Offshoreenergy.dk. Their goal is to reduce the cost of foundation construction and installation by 40%.
The funding is for a part-two project. Part one saw the design of a next-generation suction bucket concept and the fabrication an 8×8 metre prototype, while part two seeks to validate the installation integrity of the system.
The fabrication method uses coil steel instead of classical plate steel and was originally developed by Siemens Gamesa and Danish steel company Ib Andresen Industries for onshore towers.
"This means use of lower costs steel with higher supply availability," said Finn Daugaard Madsen of Siemens Gamesa. "The assembly process is much more suitable for high volume manufacturing, and hence supply bottlenecks can be eliminated and costs reduced," Madsen added.
The suction technology also has advantages in terms of environmental impact.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.166)