As the offshore wind industry approaches the end of its third decade, and the first commercial-scale floating wind farm takes shape off the east coast of Scotland, RCG takes a look back at the development and deployment of foundation technology in Europe over the last quarter of a century and offers a glimpse of what is on the horizon.
Since the first offshore wind turbines became operational in Danish waters in 1991, the rate of offshore wind deployment across Europe has increased at an impressive rate. Today, over 13 GW of capacity, across more than 90 projects, has been fully commissioned in 10 European countries.
The choice of foundation type at any given project is governed primarily by the water depth and soil conditions encountered at the site, whilst the lack of a suitably industrialised manufacturing and installation process for some solutions remains a key consideration. Likewise, the size and specification of the selected turbine plays a significant role in the final design of the structure.