Northwester 2 preparations started

JUIV Vole au vent. Credit: Jan de Nul

Developer Parkwind and marine contractor Jan De Nul have announced that offshore seabed preparation works have commenced for the 219 MW offshore wind farm Northwester 2 in the North Sea.

This will be the seventh offshore wind farm off the Belgian coast and will consist of 23 V164-9.5 MW MHI Vestas Offshore Wind turbines. The turbines on mono pile foundations will link through an offshore high voltage station to Elia’s Offshore Switch Yard to export its electricity. From 2020, the Northwester 2 wind farm will power about 220,000 households in Belgium.

The project will feature a box platform, consisting of only steel plate material, in a design patented by Parkwind.

Jan De Nul will begin the offshore scour protection works in the coming weeks, using its subsea rock installation vessel Simon Stevin. The vessel was used to install a 32 m-wide and 700 mm-thick rock layer to stabilise the seabed around the foundations of the other wind turbine projects.

The mono pile foundations for the wind turbines will be hammered directly through the rock layer into the seabed, for this Jan De Nul will also deploy its mono pile gripper Vole au vent.

Peter Caluwaerts, project director of Northwester 2 at Parkwind states, “The box platform design reduces the overall cost of the foundation fabrication by introducing ship building techniques in the fabrication process. Moreover, the box platform simplifies and reduces offshore maintenance activities over the lifetime of the wind farm. It’s great to see the initial ideas coming to life.”