Project: Development and demonstration of ‘float and sink’ gravity base foundations (FS GBF) for offshore wind turbines

The exploitation of float-and-sink gravity base foundations (FS GBF) has the potential to impact positively upon the development of deep-water offshore-wind farms (>35 metres), resulting in a reduction of the Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE), and an increase of deployment of Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs). The project supports the objectives of the EC Wind Energy Technology Roadmap under the SET-Roadmap, which seeks to develop offshore technology through the development of ‘new stackable,replicable and standardised substructures for large scale offshore turbines….and gravity based structures’. The industry to date has predominantly utilised monopile solutions with jackets and GBFs requiring specialist installation equipment. These foundation types, even if suitable for deeper waters, present a number of challenges to the development of the sector, for example: piling, piling noise, and the availability and cost of specialist installation vessels. While GBF have been used previously no FS GBF solution has been installed for an offshore wind turbine. It is widely accepted that this type of solution will be required to exploit the potential of offshore wind globally. Successful demonstration of an FS GBF project would prove the technical feasibility of the solution and enable further refinements of the design for mass manufacture and deployment. EDF Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration (BOD) site has a 99.9MW consented capacity for offshore wind development located off the North East coast of England. With water depths ranging from 35 to 55 metres, this offshore wind farm provides an ideal demonstrator site for new foundation technologies that will have further application in commercial projects throughout Europe. The demonstrator will build on an extensive research phase by the installation contractors and will prove the concept in real sea conditions. EDF Energy Renewables Holding (EDF ER) is active in the pre-construction phase of the first array of BOD, i.e. five Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) locations with water depths between 35 and 40 metres. In the first array the developer seeks to commission and install five float-and-sink foundations (FS GBF). The FSFOUND has the ambition to bring together European project partners to validate the new FS GBF offshore installation method at waters deeper than 30m (45-60m) using 8 MW turbines, which has never before been demonstrated. BODL is uniquely placed to deliver the project objectives within the timeframe of the project. Blyth is the only project in Europe, which can deliver a demonstrator project while attaining subsidies under the ROC regime. This provides certainty for the execution of the project.

Acronym FSFOUND (Reference Number: DW206)
Duration 01/01/2016 - 30/06/2019
Project Topic Offshore Wind, Topic 3 - Foundation structures
Project Results
(after finalisation)
Not available yet
Website visit project website
Network DemoWind
Call Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Limited Coordinator United Kingdom
2 ORE Catapult Development Services Limited Partner United Kingdom
3 EDF ER R&D UK C Partner United Kingdom
4 BAM Wind Energy JV Partner Netherlands