In May 2008, SGS was assigned a contract to conduct Project Certification services for Borkum West II offshore wind farm. Project Certification provided by SGS enables wind farm owners to obtain necessary approvals and meet international and local standards.
Offshore wind farms incur many risks and challenges due to a variety of external factors such as the wind climate, the location’s water depth, soil, wave, water current and ice conditions. To assure the quality of wind farm projects and to protect investments, a site-specific approval is necessary. Therefore, an increasing number of owners, investors and insurance companies are looking for an independent certification and inspection company to verify that the wind farm can perform successfully throughout the intended lifecycle.
In Germany, owners and investors need an official approval from the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt fr Seefahrt und Hydrographie “BSH”) for their offshore wind farm projects. The BSH requires that the entire project process is accompanied by a Project Certification conducted by an accredited certification body.
Due to the high number of wind farms currently under project development in the North and Baltic Sea, SGS is currently involved in Project Certification for eighteen German offshore wind farms, including the Borkum West II offshore wind farm.
The offshore wind farm project Borkum West II is located in the North Sea about 40km north-west off the shore of Lower Saxony. The project size is 400MW using eighty wind turbines each installed with a 5MW capacity. The annual energy yield is estimated to be about 1,200 GWh, enough to power 250,000 households reducing CO2 emissions by 700,000 tons per year. In order to transfer the energy onshore, an offshore substation functions as an intersection for the energy connection.
Project Certification for Borkum West II Offshore Wind Farm
In May 2008, SGS began with the Project Certification services for the Borkum West II offshore wind farm project which consists of two phases.
Phase I was a feasibility study within the development phase of the project. The SGS team was responsible for the verification of the design basis, preliminary ground investigation reports, geotechnical reports and the preliminary design document on the substructure.
During the Design Verification, SGS experts evaluated data sources used for the design calculations and development of the project, including the environmental, wind and maritime conditions. Furthermore, the SGS team checked technical data relevant for the project, set up a hierarchy of the standards applied and gave general advice for further calculations.
For the preliminary ground investigation reports and the geotechnical reports, SGS investigated geophysical and geotechnical results based on various indirect and direct methods such as sonar, seismic and echo sounding as well as drilling, penetration testing and pile driving tests. Further characteristics of soil samples were determined by laboratory tests. For the preliminary ground investigation, at least 10% of the planned turbine locations had to be investigated beforehand, by penetration testing and borehole sampling to provide a representative picture of the ground.
In the final stage of Phase I, the SGS team verified all the documents including simplified calculations and plausibility checks of the data given. Findings, uncertainties and deviations were summarized in status reports and directly discussed with the relevant experts from the client or subcontractors. Upon submission and final check of the revised documentation, SGS prepared the respective Certification Report for Phase I which was subsequently submitted to the BSH. Phase I will be completed by the end of March 2010 with the first release by the BSH.
In December 2009, SGS began with the second phase of the project certification process. Phase II includes detailed calculations of the loads on the turbine and the support structure as well as inspections of electrical installations for the offshore substation. In order to verify the structural integrity, parallel calculations for the loads and structural design have to be performed. Moreover, submarine cables, met-mast, logistics and the decommissioning concept are all part of the verification process. Phase II will be completed by the end of this year with the second release by the BSH, which is a starting signal for the manufacturing and the offshore installation of the turbines.
Due to the excellent performance, SGS was asked to perform project supervision of the construction work, which is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012. The main focus is set on the monitoring of production, transport, installation and commissioning. Moreover, SGS provides inspection and periodic monitoring during the operation of the wind farm.
About SGS Wind Energy Services
Reliability of structures and wind turbines is essential for wind farms to perform successfully. Minor failures can cause unwanted down time and loss. An independent certification and inspection provided by SGS Industrial Services can improve confidence and reliability in wind energy projects and secure quality and certainty throughout the intended lifecycle. This ensures the structural reliability, operational safety, and availability of the turbines in-line with expectations.
To assure the quality of wind farms, SGS Industrial Services works as an independent project surveyor carrying out a wide range of services for both onshore and offshore wind energy projects, including: Coating Inspection and Failure Analysis, Design Verification, Industrial Rope Access, Non-Destructive Testing, Project Finance Services, Risk Management, Supply Chain Services, Technical Due Diligence and Wind Farm Project Certification.
For more information please contact:
SGS Industrial Services
SGS Competence Centre Wind Energy
Global Business Development Manager Renewable Energy
t: +49 40 30101-538
f: +49 89 1250 4068-538
The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 59,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.