The Challenging Journey: Offshore Wind Farm Foundation Relocation Success Story

After two failed retrieval attempts, no one believed that a partly installed foundation would still move.

Offshore Independent Loannis was involved in one of the most challenging projects of his career; supervising the installation of 3-legged suction caisson jacket foundations for an offshore wind farm in Scotland.

The offshore campaign during which Loannis was involved with the project comprised the installation of the deepest fixed wind turbine structure to date (water depth of more than 58m), in an area with rather challenging seabed conditions.

In addition to installing more than 100 offshore wind turbine foundations, the offshore installation team was asked to retrieve and relocate a foundation that was partly installed during a previous installation campaign. That particular jacket had not reached the target penetration depth and had to be recovered and placed elsewhere within the given boundaries of the offshore wind farm, officially being the last jacket installation of the whole project.

After two failed recovery attempts, the offshore installation team, in consultation with the onshore team from the office, were asked to look at a solution for this jacket. The solution turned out to be as daring as it was ingenious and resulted in a lot of sweat, but ultimately ensured the intended result. The foundation came loose from the seabed and was then retrieved above the water line by the use of the crane, where it remained suspended until relocating to a different location within the offshore wind farm.

Loannis about the final stage: “When the last foundation was installed, the high fives flew through the room, and everyone was celebrating the success of the operation, which essentially marked project completion. With a warm feeling of fulfillment in my heart, I could finally take some rest.”

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