BAM said that securing the contract was “a very significant milestone” for both BAM and the entire wind energy industry.
EDF Energy Renewables has awarded BAM a contract to design, fabricate and install five full-size gravity base foundations for wind turbines off the Northumberland coast.
The foundation design will use ‘self-installing’ technology, which has been developed by two BAM companies, BAM Nuttall and BAM Infra. The design is being undertaken by BAM Infraconsult.
The technology, developed by BAM with Van Oord Offshore Wind Projects, has never been used before. The project itself will be a demonstration project to prove the viability of this approach to installing gravity base foundations in the offshore environment for future wind farms. All fabrication will be carried out locally in Newcastle on the River Tyne and the project is due for completion during summer 2017.
The five concrete and steel foundation bases will each have a base diameter of 30 metres. The gravity base foundations (GBFs) are prefabricated onshore in a quayside construction yard and then towed to the deployment site. There, they are filled with water and lowered onto a pre-installed gravel bed. When the GBF reaches the ground it is filled with sand, now ready for the windmill to be installed on top. At Blyth, they will be set at a water depth of 40 metres and will weigh 13,000 tonnes.
BAM Nuttall head of civil engineering Malcolm Corlett said: “This is a very significant milestone not just for BAM but for the wider offshore wind sector. An opportunity to demonstrate the potential for self-installing concrete gravity bases to provide economic foundations for large wind turbines in deeper water. Following five years of intensive work refining our design and method of construction we now have a live project to demonstrate our technology and bring new skills and opportunity to the northeast of England.”