Building the key element of the world’s largest offshore wind farm
When the world's largest wind farm is to supply electricity to British households, special efforts are required from people who are able to work at heights.
16 meters above the ground, at Risøy, in the center of Haugesund, workers are now helping to ensure that the last technical installation of the key energy converters can be carried out. The high voltage equipment is installed by Hitachi, on a steel platform that has been transported from Aibel’s yard in Thailand.
“This is a very special project and a special workplace that requires the highest degree of accuracy. Procedures for moisture and electricity are crucial in this room where most of the work takes place 16 meters above the ground,” explains ISP manager in Aibel, Bjørn Andreassen.
The scaffolding workers from Bilfinger Nordics make work at height possible, so that technical personnel from Hitachi can have safe working conditions.
Enables wind power to the UK
The Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm project, is the world's largest wind farm currently under construction, - and soon to be established off the north-east coast of the UK. Three steel platforms, each the size of an offshore accommodation rig, are to be transported out of Risøy, Aibel's Haugesund yard and installed at site from 2023. The wind farm will, when fully developed, will consist of 277 wind turbines and three HVDC platforms that will provide electricity to 6 million British households.
To give a small indication of how much power is generated; one rotation from an ocean turbine is enough to provide one British household with electricity for two days! Each turbine will be able to supply 16,000 homes with clean renewable energy, which corresponds to a reduction in emissions of 9,000 CO2 equivalents per year.
The offshore wind farm is expected to supply electricity for 25 years after installation.
Bilfinger scaffolders at work to support construction “15/20 rotation”
There is no doubt that the activity out here at Risøy is high.
“We have an average of eight scaffolders who work in a “15/20 rotation”. This means that at any given time there are eight people working on erecting or dismantling scaffolding. Every week, every day of the week there is activity,” says Andreassen.
The efforts of the scaffolders are crucial
The main work for Andreassen and the scaffolders is now to dismantle all scaffolding that is not needed offshore and to build as much as possible before the offshore phase. In addition, the team carries out some work on the barge for sea-fastening of the platform.
It is Aibel that has designed the platform concept in close collaboration with Hitachi Energy and will ensure delivery to the customer, Equinor, SSE Renewables and Vårgrønn. In the meantime, shifts are being worked at Risøy, some in a 15/20-day rotation and others during the day between 7am and 3pm. Every day throughout the week there is activity at the yard.
“When needed, we also bring in Bilfinger Rope Access teams, to be able to carry out work in hard-to-reach places” says the experienced Andreassen, who has worked both offshore and onshore for several decades.
He is satisfied with the staff Bilfinger Nordics provides, which Tobias Bang, Bilfinger Project Manager at the yard, is happy about.
“We are on our toes all the time, both for safety reasons, but also to ensure good cooperation among those of us who have a daily working life here, not to spend more hours than we have indicated and at the same time ensure safe working conditions and keeping the workers happy. For now, it seems that we can tick off all these points,” Tobias says.
Bjørn Andreassen, Aibel
Tobias Bang, Bilfinger