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Building firm foundations for offshore

The key to building a wind farm is industrialisation: projects should be scalable and commercially viable from the bottom up. It follows that perhaps the most crucial consideration in an offshore development, solid foundations can literally make or break a project We take a look at all the critical components to present an unmissable ‘user guide’ for developers.

With any developing industry comes innovation, whether they are product, service or supply chain related. The same can certainly be said for the offshore wind industry with the introduction of entirely new concepts or ones that are adapted, from the oil and gas industry for example, to better suit a requirement.

Fixed foundations for offshore wind turbines have been designed and developed in many shapes, sizes and materials. The basic foundation types are:

• Monopile
• Tripod
• Tripile
• Gravity-based
• Jacket

Each type of foundation has design options, such as pre- or post-piled jackets, monopiles with and without shear keys, gravity-based structures requiring seabed excavation versus those that do not. There have even been competitions launched, like that funded by the UK Carbon Trust, to find the best new wind turbine foundation designs to support the next generation of offshore wind farms.


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