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A major innovation for offshore wind power engineered by Eiffage

11.02.2015

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A major innovation for offshore wind power engineered by Eiffage

An innovative gravity base foundation topped by a meteorological mast, and built by Eiffage subsidiary Eiffage TP, was successfully lowered into the sea off the French coast at Fécamp on February 8th 2015. This 1,800-tonne, 90 m high structure, built at Le Havre in 2014, was launched into the sea on November 15. It was towed by a conventional vessel off Fécamp and then carefully lowered by Danish company MT Højgaard – by gradually filling its ballast tanks with seawater through valves opened by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Named Cranefree Gravity® and patented by Seatower, the Norwegian designer of foundations for offshore wind turbines, this prestressed concrete structure is topped by metal mast constructed by a company of the Smulders group, which is also an Eiffage subsidiary.

This work was supervised by EOHF (Éoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises), a consortium led by EDF Énergies Nouvelles and including Danish electrical engineering company Dong Energy and the specialist French subsidiary of wpd offshore - German renewable energy development company. This consortium was the successful bidder in 2012 in a tender procedure launched by the French government for three wind farms including the Fécamp project with Alstom as sole supplier of wind turbines.

Equipped with a various items of meteorological equipment, this gravity base foundation represents an important step forward for this project prior to the construction of the wind farm. With 83 wind turbines installed between 13 and 22 kilometres from the coast and supported by gravity base foundations which can be towed from their port of construction to their point of installation, the Fécamp wind farm will generate enough power to cater for the needs of 770,000 people.

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An innovative gravity base foundation topped by a meteorological mast, and built by Eiffage subsidiary Eiffage TP, was successfully lowered into the sea off the French coast at Fécamp on February 8. © Fabien Montreuil.