The consortium Alstom Grid and Keppel Verolme has successfully installed an offshore substation for Global Tech I, an offshore wind farm located in the German North Sea. Installed on site by Keppel Verolme, the floating, self-erecting substation, based on the Mobile Offshore Application Barge (MOAB), a design of Overdick, will be applied for an offshore wind farm substation in Germany.
The offshore wind farm Global Tech I – currently under construction – is located approximately 180 kilometres from the Bremerhaven sea port and 138 kilometres from Emden, both located in Northwest Germany. It consists of 80 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5 MW. The substation links the wind generating turbines to the grid connection point.
Alstom delivers the high voltage equipment, power transformers as well as the protection and control systems while Keppel Verolme carried out the detailed engineering, construction work and installation offshore. During installation, the self-erecting platform uses a suction can method to set the foundations to the sea bed, by this method reducing noise pollution and making it safer for the local environment. It is also completely self-contained to protect the electrical equipment against the harsh offshore conditions. The platform can be completely removed after its lifetime-cycle.
This novel platform design is paving the way for a new use of existing technologies, already common in the Oil & Gas business. “This platform concept is an interesting alternative to traditional topside-jacket-installations could become one standard solution in the offshore wind business” said Florian Zschoge, Alstom Grid’s Project Leader. “We are very proud to deliver state of the art technology for the Global Tech 1 project. This is certainly another important contribution to the German energy turnaround.”
Arjen Schampers, technical director of Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH, underlines Alstom’s technical know-how and project management expertise: “The inner park substation platform is the centrepiece of our offshore wind farm. As the consortium leader, Alstom Grid contributed significantly to the success of this milestone. Our initial trust in Alstom Grid’s experience was confirmed through professional project management, a cooperative approach and the proven technology of our electro-technical equipment."
Alstom Grid has responsibility over the electrical substation equipment including all required design studies and calculations. Once completed, the wind farm will be able to produce around 1.4 billion kWH (kilowatt hours) of energy per year, equivalent to approximately 445,000 households.
The offshore wind market is a strategic development axis for Alstom Grid and the company is investing significant efforts in the key technologies to maintain its leading position on the market. Since 2008, Alstom has won several Alternating Current (AC) substation offshore contracts in Germany, including the offshore substation for wind farm Borkum, which has been installed in April 2014.
In February 2013, Alstom was awarded its first HVDC offshore contract – the DolWin3 offshore project - by TenneT, which will use its advanced Voltage Source Conversion technology to transport the energy generated at sea to the mainland grid.
Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 92,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of €22 billion and booked close to €24 billion in orders in 2012/13.
About Alstom Grid
Alstom Grid has over 100 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to their customers’ projects. Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of more than €4 billion. It has 20,000 employees and over 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide. At the heart of the development of Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chain—from power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user.
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 The suction method replaces the traditional “pile-driving” technology used to install offshore substations. A pile-driver is a mechanical device used to provide foundation support for structures such as substations. The underwater sound pressure caused by pile-driving can be harmful to local marine life.
 High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Voltage Source Conversion (VSC) technology connects intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind, to the grid. HVDC transmission is able to carry more electricity over longer distances with fewer losses.