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EDF Energies Nouvelles, Dong Energy and wpd offshore developing the Fécamp offshore wind farm have chosen to demonstrate and install Seatower’s patented Cranefree Gravity foundation design at their joint project off the coast of Normandy.
Norwegian based Seatower will manage the installation project, including the demonstration of the entirely new “float-out-and-sink” offshore installation method and the offshore wind foundation will be installed using only regular towing vessels. The technology gives offshore wind farm constructors more overall control of the installation process. Construction management can run foundation installation programmes all year round, uninterrupted by poor weather. The process can also easily be speeded up if necessary by increasing the number of towing vessels. What’s more, crane-free installation does not involve noisy underwater piling, which is subject to restrictions in several jurisdictions, including “no-build” seasons when installation is prohibited for fear of noise interference with mammals. The Fécamp foundation will be pulled around 13 kilometers by a towing vessel before being positioned and subsequently sunk in a controlled manner by gradually letting in seawater.  It will be outfitted with equipment that will measure wind and other parameters on the site, as well as to provide data for future optimisation of the technology. French construction giant Eiffage, which is an established manufacturer of conventional, steel-based foundations for the offshore wind sector, will fabricate the demonstrator foundation at the port of Le Havre. The Fécamp demonstration project is scheduled for early 2015.
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