Northland Power may scrap plans to install ground-breaking next-generation mono-bucket foundations at the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind project, the Canadian group revealed.
The demonstrator project was halted in the fourth quarter of last year “following the identification of technical issues”, Northland said in its latest financial results statement.
“A thorough evaluation of the cause of the technical issues is ongoing and there is a possibility that the demonstrator project may not proceed.”
Northland booked a non-cash impairment of $98m against the demonstrator, which is designed to test the pioneering Universal Foundation-developed mono-buckets in their first commercial outing as part of the Canadian group’s wider 269MW Deutsche Bucht in the German North Sea.
The mono-bucket foundations, which set off on their journey to the project site in November, are supposed to support a pair of 8.4MW MHI Vestas V164 turbines. The other 31 monopile foundations at Deutsche Bucht were installed ahead of schedule and the project is already exporting power, said Northland.
The Deutsche Bucht mono-buckets, each weighing 1,100 tonnes, were designed with a base diameter of 18.5 metres, with skirts to penetrate 16.5-18.5 metres into the project site’s predominantly sandy seabed.
UF’s branded Mono Bucket concept, which has hollow, cylindrical steel base that embeds into the seafloor using a combination of suction pressure, gravity and ‘smart’ installation techniques, has been in development since 2001 via prototypes, including a 3MW turbine-topped unit in Frederikshavn, Denmark, and met-mast installations for projects including the UK’s multi-gigawatt Dogger Bank development .
Danish developer Orsted installed a three-legged suction-bucket foundation at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 wind farm in the German North Sea in 2014 and Vattenfall used the technology at Aberdeen Bay in the UK .