A Letter of Intent to this effect was signed in December 2009. The project is located in the Irish Sea, 20 kilometres off the west coast of England near Barrow-in-Furness. The 51 wind turbines each have a capacity of 3.6 MW, resulting in a total capacity of 183.6 MW.
Ballast Nedam Offshore will install the tubular steel piles which form part of the foundations. These monopiles weigh between 800 and 1000 tons each, which makes them the heaviest monopiles ever used as the foundation for an offshore wind turbine.
Nevertheless, the weight involved is well within the maximum lifting capacity of Ballast Nedam’s heavy lift vessel Svanen, which is built to handle 8,700 tons. The Svanen will start putting the foundations in place during the second quarter of 2011.
The construction of Walney II represents a milestone for the Svanen. Not long after the project gets under way, the vessel will place its 250th foundation for offshore wind turbines.
The Svanen has built up an impressive record, installing the foundations for offshore wind parks at Egmond aan Zee (the Netherlands, 2006, 36 piles), Rhyl Flats (United Kingdom, 2008, 25 piles), Gunfleet Sands (United Kingdom, 2008/2009, 32 piles) and Belwind (Belgium, 2009/2010, 56 piles).
The Svanen is currently installing 90 foundations for the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Park in the United Kingdom, which lies between 17 and 23 kilometres off the coast of Sheringham. In addition, Ballast Nedam Offshore is using another vessel to install 22 foundations for the Baltic I wind farm. German energy company EnBW is the commissioning party for Baltic I, Germany’s first commercial wind park.