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The monopile foundations of Arcadis Ost 1 wind farm have now been laid. Each pile of the turbines is up to 110 metres long with a diameter of 9.5 metres, making them the largest in Europe.

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Germany needs considerably more wind power to reach its target of 30 GW capacity by 2030 (up from 7.7 GW today). Arcadis Ost 1 wind farm situated north-east of the Cape Arkona rock in the Baltic Sea (within the 12 NM Zone of Germany) will meet a portion of that demand with a capacity of 257 MW. The monopile foundations have now been laid for the giant turbines: each pile is up to 110 metres long with a diameter of 9.5 metres and weighs 2,000 tonnes, making them the largest in Europe.

The construction project represents a breakthrough for deep sea engineering. The water depths in the ocean section reach up to 45 metres and the ground conditions are fairly unstable. The erection of the concrete foundations required a special floating installation vessel to be developed by the Belgian company DENE Offshore. ‘Orion’ was equipped with a 5,000-tonne crane and a tailor-made, motion-compensated pile gripper system able to handle the enormous XXL monopiles, as well as its proprietary DP3 system for installation.

“We are extremely thrilled to see ‘Orion’ and her motion compensated pile gripper doing what the vessel has been created for, installing huge monopiles in extreme circumstances,” comments Hugo Bouvy, managing director of DEME Offshore, in a press release. “This pushes the boundaries of the offshore wind industry over the horizon and shows that DEME’s smart solutions and equipment are ready for the next generation of foundations and wind turbines.”

The foundations will carry 27 giant V 174 wind turbines made by Vestas each with a rated output of 9.7 MW, enough to produce green electricity for up to 290,000 households. The plant will be operated by Parkwind Germany.