MPI ADVENTURE Decommissioning Robin Rigg Turbines

In: Windfarms
Decommissioning of turbines A1 and B1 of the Robin Rigg wind farm is currently taking place following a recent Court of Appeal ruling between E.ON Climate and Renewables UK and MT Højgaard A/S (MT).  The MPI ADVENTURE is on site and the work is expected to take six weeks.

MT were contracted by E.ON to design and install Robin Rigg's wind turbine foundations. Shortly after the installation of said foundations, the grouted connections between the monopile and foundation began to fail. Both companies agreed that working together to find a solution would be mutually beneficial, however after the work was carried out there was a dispute with regards to who should bear the cost of the works. The cost of the works amounted to the significant sum of  €26.25 million.

As a result of this dispute MT issued proceedings with the Techology and Construction Court  to settle who should bear the cost.

MT stated that it had complied with its contractual obligations and should bear no remedial costs. E.ON argued that MT had breached a number of contractual provisions, in particular, those set out in the Technical Requirements. MT was also obliged to construct the foundations in accordance with J101, an international standard for the design of offshore wind turbines. However it was revealed that there were errors within the calculations, which resulted in the axial capacity being insufficient to resist the downward load from the turbine.

The judge ruled that MT were to be held responsible because the foundations were not fit for purpose and this infringed the contractual obligations set out by E.ON.  MT appealed this ruling and argued in the Court of Appeal that the contract did not outline a fitness for purpose obligation for the service life of the foundations. There was only an obligation for the foundations to have a 20-year design life. MT had complied with international standards for foundations, including J101, and argued that the foundations had the required design life. In return, E.ON contested the appeal and cross-appealed on the grounds that MT breached two further conditions of the contract.

The Court of appeal found that MT were not to be held liable for the remedial costs.

The 140 metre MPI ADVENTURE arrived at the site on 2 October,  ready to decommission turbines A1 and B1, reducing the number of plants in the array from 58 to 56. Suspected reasoning behind the decommissioning  is thought to be that they have damaged the bedrock beyond possible remedial works.

Robin Rigg offshore wind farm consisted of 58 Vestas V90-3.0 turbines, with a rated power of 3MW which gave the wind farm a total capacity of 174MW. The reduction in the two turbines will reduce the wind farm's capacity to 168MW.

For more information about the Robin Rigg offshore wind farm or the MPI ADVENTURE please follow the links provided. Alternatively you can view the project on our interactive map.

MPI Adventure installing turbine blades at E.ON's Amrumbank West Offshore Wind Farm.

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