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The winner of the competition for additional capacity in the Deutsche Bucht Wind Farm celebrate their opportunity to demonstrate a critical step forward for the industry. Deutsche Bucht was selected by the German authorities as the winner of the Anschlusskapazität für Pilotwindenergieanlagen auf See project based on the Mono Bucket foundation, developed by Universal Foundation. BSH and BnetzA designated the Mono Bucket as “above state-of-the-art technology” and recognised its ability for improving offshore wind energy development for future projects. The final decision to execute the pilot project is dependent on a few factors. If it moves forward, the pilot will add an additional two foundations and turbines, which will add 17 MW of capacity to the base 252MW project.

“We’ve put our finest efforts into supporting our partners in winning this development bid. Working closely with the visionaries at Northland Power, K2 Management and Green Giraffe made it possible to position our foundation technology as the enabler to win the award for the 16.8MW extension of capacity at Deutsche Bucht. We’ll deploy two Mono Bucket foundations in the project, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to show the world what our foundations can do,” said Kristian Ravn, Managing Director of Universal Foundation.

The extension of capacity at Deutsche Bucht has been made possible as part of a special German programme set out by the German authorities BSH and BnetzA in 2016. Through this programme, the industry has been given the opportunity to apply for extra grid capacity for the purpose of demonstrating above state-of-the-art technology. The Mono Bucket technology scores highly on this requirement with its significant contributions to improving both environmental and financial offerings. This includes practically noise-free installation and a foundation structure that can be 100% decommissioned after the planned operational lifetime.

Since the award of additional capacity from the BnetzA in 2016, the team has made significant progress on this project. Both Northland Power and Universal Foundation have invested significantly to drive the pilot project forward and we are fully dedicated to make this a success. Progress has only been possible with the support of our respective owners and the constructive interaction with German authorities. No doubt, this project is receiving a lot of support and attention as it is a beacon for showcasing what above state-of-the-art technology can deliver to an industry under both political, economic and environmental pressure,” said Jens Poulsen, Project Director of Deutsche Bucht.

The technology is well-proven, having been adapted from suction caissons used for decades in offshore platforms for the oil industry. Universal Foundation has been advancing its application for the offshore wind market since 2002, with several pilot and test projects successfully undertaken since then. The Deutsche Bucht pilot will further demonstrate the commercial viability of the foundations, in addition to their environmental features.

In a commercial context, our design uses 20-25% less steel than a comparable monopile, reducing the CO2 emissions footprint. Our practically noise-free installation eliminates many of the challenging requirements around maximum noise emission levels. Our method and technology have a very low impact on marine habitats. And, by eliminating the need for seabed preparations like dredging and extensive rock dumping, offshore marine activities are considerably reduced. This is a real win for positively impacting the overall environmental footprint of offshore wind. Naturally, this also translates into significant cost reductions,” said Kristian Ascanius Jacobsen, Head of Business Development at Universal Foundation.

Universal Foundation has, in partnership with SIF and Harland & Wolff, secured funding from the European programme DemoWind. DemoWind is a programme supported under the European Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and aims to support the development and demonstration of innovative technologies which can reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.

Deutsche Bucht is Northland Power’s third offshore wind project. It is in approximately 40 meters of water depth and located 95 km northwest of the island of Borkum in the German Exclusive Economic Zone and is 77 km from Northland Power’s other German offshore wind project, Nordsee One. The project features the MVOW 8.4MW wind turbine generator. The total estimated project cost is approximately EUR 1.3 bn, and once operational, it is expected to generate over 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

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