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SELF-INSTALLING TELESCOPIC SUBSTRUCTURE FOR LOW-COST CRANELESS INSTALLATION OF COMPLETE OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES. DEEP OFFSHORE 5MW PROTOTYPE

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ELICAN (SELF-INSTALLING TELESCOPIC SUBSTRUCTURE FOR LOW-COST CRANELESS INSTALLATION OF COMPLETE OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES. DEEP OFFSHORE 5MW PROTOTYPE)

Período documentado: 2017-07-01 hasta 2019-03-31

The offshore wind market is a young and rapidly growing market. The next decade and beyond may average 1,000 offshore towers/year worldwide, with an overall investment volume around 15-20.000 M€/year. For water depths above 30m, which are roughly 70% of the future market, approximately 40-50% of such investment is to be dedicated to the substructure (foundation and tower) (refer to section 2.1 for additional data and source references).

Nevertheless, there are still great challenges ahead as, for example, the water depth and turbine size increase, the need for reducing the cost of energy (both CAPEX and OPEX), or the development of the foundations to industrial scale. These are issues that the industry needs to face and solve, to meet the market expected tariffs.

Therefore, the project aims to fully test and demonstrate the installation and operational performance of such revolutionary substructure which is excellently fitted for a wide range of deep water depths, from 30 to 55 meters. With the full scale offshore prototype demonstration of the system and its installation process the project will complete the development of a breakthrough technology for offshore wind substructures, adequately de-risked and ready for commercial application, in a ground-breaking step which paves the way towards new capabilities for low cost deep offshore wind.

In this sense, it could be said that the benefits of our project for society are diverse. On the one hand, economic benefits since one of our project’s main goals is energy cost reduction. These expected cost reduction capabilities – as due diligence by both benchmark developers and offshore turbine manufacturers – exceed 35% when compared to Jackets or XXL Monopiles in deep waters (35m plus). On the other hand, environmental benefits which is in accordance with EU’s ambitious plan to reduce environmental impact and damage. Particularly in this case, shallow waters are usually places with high ecological value and are important habitats for breeding, resting and migratory seabirds. Since our project aims to reach deeper water this will reduce environmental impacts from several wind farms close to the coastline of cities. What is more, the visual impact is also reduced due to the greater distance from the coastline.
WP1 Project management: Project management activities have been performed to ensure the achievement of the objectives within time-schedule and budget constraints, by planning, organizing and controlling the integrated effort of the teams and subcontractors involved in the project.

During WP1, numerous meetings have taken place within ESTEYCO’s team as well as within the subcontracting companies, to control the achievement of the project’s schedule and deadlines (technical coordination); and to perform the financial and administrative tasks.

WP2 Structure – Wind turbine integration: during PR1, the tasks included in WP2 have been fully performed by ADWEN, GAMESA and ESTEYCO. This WP has covered the integration between wind turbine and substructure in terms of the definition of the loads and interfaces, including its certification.

During WP2, metocean conditions have also been analysed with the same purpose, covering the design of tower internals and secondary steel, as well as the design of power evacuation and grid connection.

WP3 Substructure design: The tasks related to the WP3 Substructure Design have been performed in parallel to WP2, since the design of the entire substructure must follow the requirements of the turbine manufacturer and certification. This work package will be finished by PR2.

WP4 Construction of the demonstrator substructure prototype: during PR1, the construction of the prototype has started; starting in the dry dock, and then placing the tower segments, installing the auxiliary buoyancy elements and finally the turbine.

WP5 Installation of the substructure and turbine at the final location: during PR1, the installation of the substructure and turbine at the final location has started, covering the manufacturing of the auxiliary buoyancy elements, its installation, its transport, the process of ballasting and the solid ballast infill as well.

WP6 Monitoring and operational demonstration: the Monitoring and operational demonstration has started during PR1, performing behavior tests of all involved elements to determine reliability and readiness of the prototype. This Work Package will continue during PR2, reaching the final conclusions.

WP7. Business case and risk analysis: the analysis of possible risks has started during PR1, as well as the study of the substructure overall cost. This work package will be finished by the end of PR2.

WP8 Dissemination and exploitation: the dissemination and exploitation of the technology developed has started during PR1, evaluating the costs related with the technology developed – both during the construction and installation and the operation and maintenance – to facilitate its commercialization. Furthermore, different dissemination activities have been carried out during PR1: a) ELICAN’s web page: we have created a specific web page (www.elicanoffshore.com) for this project in order to our share knowledge and results of the project so far; b) Specialized press: we have been contacted by different specialized magazines, both national and international, which are interested in our project and we have collaborated with them in order to disseminate our up-to-date results and achievements, for instance, Offshore Wind Industry (Germany), Recharge News (Norway, UK) and Expansion newspaper (Spain); c) educational dissemination: we have organized an educational visit for a group of 16 students of the course Design of Naval and Oceanic Industry (Offshore), who got to know first-hand the technical features of the structure as well as its operational process in the sea and visit the prototype itself.
Europe is currently changing the energy sources, seeking reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. This strategy to increase the use of renewables energies was reflected on the H2020 Programme, which provides funding to new technologies and concepts. One of the key technologies in the renewables area is wind energy, already with a large share in Europe´s energy generation. Onshore wind energy is very mature and locations with best wind resources are already occupied. Thus, offshore wind is increasingly prominent, since wind resource is unbeatable and visual impact is non-existent. The expected potential impact is the following:

Improve the competitiveness of wind energy: in transport and erection, and installation costs reduction.
Decrease costs of production and installation.
Decrease Operation & Maintenance costs and improve Asset Integrity.
Improving EU energy security.
Increasing energy production in the EU and diversifying supplier countries and routes.
Making variable renewable electricity generation more predictable and grid friendly, thereby allowing larger amounts of variable output renewable sources in the grid.
Nurturing the development of the industrial capacity to produce components and systems and opening of new opportunities.
Strengthening the European industrial technology base.
Contributing to solving the global climate and energy challenges.
Paronamic view of ELICAN site
View of ELICAN telescopic tower from above