Iberdrola has launched the pile testing campaign for its Wikinger offshore wind farm project following the completion of the site’s geotechnical investigation on the Baltic Sea.
German engineering and services group Bilfinger and its experienced subcontractors are carrying out the tests in order to confirm the design of the wind farm foundations, checking the performance of the piles against static, dynamic and cyclic loads specific for offshore structures, and fulfil the requirements for pile testing as defined by the German navigation authorities, BSH.
Nine steel piles, fabricated in Aschersleben (Germany) by Bilfinger MCE, are being driven into the seabed at selected locations, with static and dynamic tension and pressure tests to be conducted under water for several weeks, which have never been carried out before. Additionally, the tests will evaluate the performance of noise mitigation systems being developed by a German contractor.
The findings of the works are essential for the project’s engineering solution to be technically and economically optimized and will also provide valuable information on offshore piling and noise mitigation systems for similar Baltic Sea geological formations which can be found in other projects.
The Wikinger offshore wind farm is being developed by IBERDROLA, off the coast of the island of Rügen where the water depths range between 37 and 43 metres. The project covers an area of roughly 34km², within which 70 turbines and one offshore substation are planned to be installed.
With total investment of almost €1.4 billion, Wikinger will have a significant economic impact through the entire supply chain. Thus far, Iberdrola has invested over €100 million in the project’s development and more than 15 companies from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have already been engaged and suppliers/contractors.
Iberdrola finds itself in the final steps of contract negotiations with selected competent suppliers for the delivery of cables, foundations, platforms, offshore substation and wind turbines after a comprehensive, open and transparent procurement process which guarantees equal opportunities, objectivity and impartiality in its relationships with the supply chain, whilst promoting publicity and competition to ensure efficiency.
The Company estimates that over 50% of total investment will benefit German companies directly, with more than €50 million to be spent in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region every year and over €30 million expected to be paid for taxes and other duties on an annual basis.
Once in operation, in 2017, the 350-MW wind farm will produce credible and fuel free electricity equivalent to the consumption of more than 350,000 German households, equivalent to the consumption of more than 20% of the whole Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Land.