Substation for Global Tech 1 is complete

The substation for Global Tech 1 is completely enclosed to protect electrical equipment from the harsh offshore environmental conditions. (Photo: Global Tech 1/Derek Henthorn)
The substation for Global Tech 1 is completely enclosed to protect electrical equipment from the harsh offshore environmental conditions. (Photo: Global Tech 1/Derek Henthorn)

The consortium composed of Alstom Grid and Keppel Verolme delivered the substation for the offshore wind farm Global Tech 1 in the North Sea on 8 May. The installation of the 9,000-tonne colossus was performed using suction bells, so no heavy installation vessels were required.

The steel construction of the platform was completed by Keppel Verolme in Rotterdam. The electrical equipment of Alstom Grid was installed directly at the Dutch shipyard. The substation was pulled as a buoyant, closed body from Rotterdam to the construction site by two tug boats within three days. At the final position, the support structure was lowered down onto the seabed. In a first step, the suction bells on the feet of the supporting structure sunk into the seabed under the weight of the platform. In a second step, vacuum pumps sucked the sea water out from the top of the cylinders, so that the resulting vacuum caused the seabed to wash up into the suction bells from below. In a third step, the substation was raised 20 meters above sea level and positioned on the substructure.

The platform concept is based on technologies that have already been successfully used in the oil and gas business. "The self-constructing platform is an interesting alternative to traditional topside and jacket structures, and could establish itself as a further standard in the offshore wind business," says Florian Zschoge, Project Manager at Alstom. He sees the concept as "state-of-the-art technology". Thomas Maetzel, Commercial Director of Global Tech 1 Offshore Wind GmbH, adds: "The substation is an important milestone in the construction of our wind farm. We are very proud that we were able to develop this new platform concept together with our partners Alstom Grid and Keppel Verolme, as well as successfully install it."

The wind park Global Tech 1, which is currently under construction, is located in the North Sea, about 180 km north-west from Bremerhaven and 138 km from Emden. It consists of 80 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5 MW. The substation from Alstom connects the turbines via the connection point of the transmission grid operator to the power grid. After completion, the wind farm will be able to produce about 1.4 billion kWh of energy per year.

Katharina Garus

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