Inch Cape Offshore has awarded SLPE the detailed design contract for what will be some of the largest offshore wind farm monopiles in the world, after the design office successfully delivered the concept design last year.
After delivering the Wind Turbine Foundation Design (WTG) in March 2021, SLPE will soon start work on the detailed design phase.
SLPE CEO Joseph Hilton explained in a recent statement that the design phase was followed by a refinement phase to further optimize designs “for a number of variables and uncertainties.”
“These studies will contribute to the detailed design of the monopiles that will support some of the largest offshore wind turbines on the market today. Inch Cape is also currently the deepest offshore wind farm in which monopile foundations are expected to be deployed, ”he added.
The Inch Cape offshore wind farm will be located 15-22 km off the coast of Angus in Scotland, with water depths ranging from 43m to 55m. It will consist of up to 72 turbines and will connect to the national grid in Cockenzie, East Lothian.
In July last year, Scottish ministers agreed to remove the 1,000 MW maximum generation capacity cap from the project consent. This means that it can use the most powerful turbines on the market.
SLPE is supporting Inch Cape with further concept refinement and site surveys. This is to help inform key project decisions and develop design inputs for the detailed design.
In the coming days, a jack-up vessel operated by Fugro Seacore will also begin a near-shore survey near the coast at Cockenzie to collect additional data to inform the design.
Nick Terr, SLPE Wind Turbine Substructure Manager, said: “With water depths of up to 55m, Inch Cape’s monopiles will be among the largest in the world.
“Being able to demonstrate the feasibility of monopiles in these water depths has enabled the project to achieve significant cost savings compared to jacketed foundations. This was made possible by our in-house iterative design and optimization software, which allows each site-specific monopile design to be individually optimized for structural weight and cost-effective manufacturing.
“Our monopile designs also incorporate an advanced Pisa-like geotechnical design, using full 3D finite element analysis and advanced soil constitutive modeling to simulate the behavior of soil structure. This results in greater precision and considerable weight savings compared to conventional pile design methods. This advanced approach is provided in partnership with Geowynd, which complements SLPE with its deep expertise in marine geotechnics.
As Inch Cape moves into the next phase of design, Red Rock Power Project Director Adam Ezzamel said the project “is actively seeking equally innovative and ambitious UK companies” to support its delivery.
The wind farm is owned by Inch Cape Offshore, a 50/50 joint venture between Edinburgh-based renewable and sustainable energy company Red Rock Power and Irish energy company ESB.
When completed, Inch Cape could power up to 1 million homes and become one of the largest sources of renewable energy in the country.