E.ON has installed the first foundation for turbines at the Amrumbank West wind farm, 37km northwest of the island of Helgoland, in the North Sea.
MPI Discovery, a turbine installation vessel, has been chartered for several years by E.ON to support Amrumbank West and other offshore projects.
The MPI Discovery ship creates a stable platform for operating the ram and cranes by lowering six legs on to the seabed and then raising itself hydraulically above the surface of the sea.
The ram is used to drive the 60m-long steel tubular monopile foundations, around 30m into the seabed at water depths of up to 24m.
Weighing about 900 metric tons, the entire foundation structure features the monopile and the transition piece. Once operational in 2015, the €1bn project will feature 80 Siemens wind turbines of 3.6MW each and will generate enough electricity to power around 300,000 households and curb 740,000t of carbon emissions annually.
E.ON Climate & Renewables CEO Eckhardt Rummler said the company is enforcing the expertise it gained from its offshore facilities in the UK and Scandinavia and from the construction and operation of alpha ventus in Germany.
“Offshore wind is on the road to becoming a reliable and cost-effective source of electricity. Amrumbank West will help take us significantly closer to this goal,” added Rummler.