On the 27th of May, Pacific Orca reaffirmed its position as a leading jack-up vessel in the offshore wind market with the successful completion of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), a project off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland which holds the record for the world’s most powerful wind turbines.
The EOWDC is owned by Vattenfall and under development by Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd. The original project plans called for 11 V164-8.4 MW turbines, but two of the turbines were later enhanced with additional internal power modes, increasing their output to 8.8 MW. Pacific Orca’s installation on site began with one of the V164-8.8 MW turbines which now stands as the world’s most powerful installed turbine. The massive turbines on the Aberdeen project have a blade tip height of 191 metres when measured from sea level, just three metres shy of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, and the 164-metre rotors have a diameter larger than that of the London Eye.
The 300-million-pound project is slated to come online with a total capacity of 93.2 MW. Once fully operational, the EOWDC is expected to produce 312 GWh of electricity annually which is enough to cover 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic demand and should reduce CO2 emissions by 134,128 tonnes annually, the equivalent of removing 736,817 cars from UK roads. Additionally, the project is unique in the European offshore market for its implementation of suction bucket foundations and use of high capacity 66kV power cables. Boskalis won the balance of the plant contract in 2016 and was the client for which Swire Blue Ocean worked. Boskalis was also tasked with the installation of the eleven 1,800-tonne suction bucket jackets.
The installation on site provided the Pacific Orca with some of the most challenging conditions she has ever faced. The EOWDC is located in average water depths by offshore wind industry standards, but the seabed on site was extremely complex with leg penetrations of 20+ metres, an all-time record high for Swire Blue Ocean.
After much hard work by the Swire Blue Ocean, Boskalis, MHI-Vestas, and Vattenfall teams, the installation process was completed on time, and 11 turbines now stand ready to provide the people of Aberdeen with clean and renewable energy for decades to come.
Image above: The Pacific Orca on site at the EOWDC with installation of all major components of the first V164-8.8 MW turbine completed. Source: TVP Film and Multimedia Ltd.