Foundation installation underway at Dogger Bank


Work has started on the installation of 277 of some of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine foundations in the North Sea, in what is another major milestone for Dogger Bank Wind Farm.


Located off the north-east coast of England, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being built in three 1.2 GW phases,
Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B, and Dogger Bank C. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture partnership between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%), and Eni (20%). SSE Renewables will to lead on the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and Equinor will operate the asset on completion. Once the three phases are complete, the project is expected to generate around 18 TWh annually, enough renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand and equivalent to powering six million UK homes.
The campaign to install turbine foundations at what will is poised to be one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms has commenced in recent days, with the installation of the first monopile and transition piece on Dogger Bank A. The installation campaign is being led by Seaway 7 supported by DEME.

The turbine foundations for Dogger Bank Wind Farm are UK-designed and feature a unique split-level transition piece, as well as a world’s-largest 8-meter flange – or projecting flat rim – to support the turbine towers.

Installation of GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X turbines onto each of the installed turbine foundations will commence from Spring 2023.

Steel manufactured by Tata Steel in Wales and processed in Corby and Hartlepool is being used in the supporting components of the transition pieces, while South Tyneside-based Metec and Rochdale-based Granada Material Handling have also won contracts with Smulders to support this innovative and world-leading project.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Steve Wilson, said: “These foundations have been designed for what is arguably the most demanding wave environment to be encountered on an offshore wind farm and are a testament to the many companies involved in collaborating to reach this unprecedented milestone.

“As well as the sheer scale of the foundations, we’ve incorporated a unique split-level transition piece which allows safe access for technicians directly into the turbine tower from our service and operations vessels, eliminating thousands of manual handling activities and lifting operations over the lifetime of the assets.
“Successful installation of our first monopiles and transitions pieces is a giant leap for offshore wind globally and will lay the foundations for Dogger Bank Wind Farm to contribute to meeting the UK’s net zero target, enabling the development of a future energy system that is cleaner, cheaper and more secure. It also demonstrates the continued innovation in our sector as we begin to install the increasingly larger and more powerful turbines that are needed to fuel our homes and businesses safely and securely in a net zero world.”
Designed in the UK by Wood Thilsted, the foundations have been tailored to tackle challenging wave loads in the Dogger Bank area of the North Sea, with installation in water depths of up to 32m and at a distance of 130km from shore, and provide a base for the turbines.
Over the three-year installation programme for the three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, a total of 277 monopiles and transition pieces will be loaded onto installation vessels in Rotterdam ahead of transfer out to the offshore wind farm site deep into the North Sea. Using dynamic positioning technology the vessels will pinpoint the installation site in the seabed at which point a monopile measuring up to 72m (equivalent to more than 6 double-decker buses end-to-end), will be upended and transferred to a pile gripper, before being lowered into the seabed.
A hammer will be used to drive the monopile to the design depth in the seabed before a guidance system aligns the installation of the record-breaking 8-metre flanges which act as a connection for the transition piece which is then installed onto the monopile. The foundations require 152 giant M80 bolts to secure them before a cover is inserted onto the top of the transition piece to leave it watertight.
Seaway 7 was awarded the tier one contract for foundation installation on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, with sub-contractor DEME deploying its Innovation vessel for installation of the first foundations on Dogger Bank A. Following the DEME Innovation, the Seaway Strashnov will deploy on Dogger Bank A to continue the foundation installation.
In November 2020, the consortium Sif and Smulders was awarded the contract for the manufacture of all 190 monopiles and transition pieces for the Dogger Bank A and B phases of the wind farm, with a contract for Dogger Bank C’s remaining 87 monopiles and transition pieces awarded to the consortium in 2021.


For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.