“Halfway on the construction of the world’s first offshore wind farm built without subsidies; a major milestone we all can be very proud of,” says Søren Andersen, Senior WTG Installation Package Manager Hollandse Kust Zuid at Vattenfall.
Speaking with Søren, you really get a feel what it means to be building the largest offshore wind farm when operational. The job goes on 24/7, with good and bad weather.
The crew that work on the Cadelar Wind Osprey installation vessel, started on April 14th when COVID restrictions were still in place. This meant testing procedures for each crew member, onboard quarantining and managing the logistical process within this context. While the strict rules and regulations were lifted for most people in the spring, the COVID protocol was maintained on the vessel until only a couple of weeks ago to prevent COVID outbreaks at sea. From time to time some of the crew have contracted COVID and as a consequence have been isolated on board.
The vessel makes round trips with 4 turbines per trip. Depending on the weather conditions the trips have a duration of 5 up to 12 days. The crew work 12 hour shifts while on board and work in a 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off rotation. A few situations bad weather conditions have led to crew being delayed in transferring off the vessel and thus being delayed coming home. This can easily take a toll on the morale of the crew. Ever the more reason for Søren to be proud of the installation team, that they managed to stay on course, and getting the job done.
Getting the job done in itself is not a routine job either. It is the first time that the 11MW wind turbines of Siemens Gamesa are being installed in a serial setup and released for commercial production. The size and weight of the turbines require thorough engineering and planning to load them onto the vessel. “This is a high-level achievement, in an energy industry that is realizing these innovative and large-scale projects without subsidies”.
“Also, having biodiversity integrated into the design, with the creation of nature inclusive designs, which are basically manmade reefs, and open foundations (water replenishment holes in the monopiles) is really amazing,” mentions Søren. “When you see seals going in and out of the monopiles, it adds to the motivation for the project. Creating fossil free living within one generation means generating renewable energy, while also preserving the marine ecosystem.”
Photo: Vattenfall/Charles Walker