Northwester 2 offshore wind farm’s developer Parkwind and marine contractor Jan De Nul have kicked off the offshore seabsed preparation works.

The wind farm to be located off of Belgian coast, will be powered by 23 of MHI Vestas’ V164-9.5MW turbines. The turbines will be installed on monopile foundations and will be linked through an offshore high voltage station to Elia’s Offshore Switch Yard (OSY) to transmit the generated electricity.

To be completed next year, the wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power 220,000 Belgian households.

For this project, a new platform design for external access will be introduced by Parkwind. The platform will only consist of steel plate material.

Parkwind Northwester 2 project director Peter Caluwaerts said: “At Parkwind, we continuously look for optimizations and cost-effective solutions while developing offshore wind farms. The box platform is a show case of this attitude. Indeed, this innovative design reduces the overall cost of the foundation fabrication by introducing ship building techniques in the fabrication process.

“Moreover, the box platform simplifies and reduces offshore maintenance activities over the lifetime of the windfarm. It is great to see the initial ideas now coming to life at the start of the offshore construction works.”

Jan De Nul has completed offshore scour protection work at different wind turbine locations. The company used its subsea rock installation vessel Simon Stevin and installed 32m diameter wide and 700mm thick rock layer to stabilise the seabed around the foundation.

Jan De Nul will begin monopile foundation installation in the coming days

Jan De Nul is now preparing to install the first foundation for the wind farm in the coming days. These monopile foundations will be hammered directly through the rock layer into the seabed.

Jan De Nul Group Northwester 2 senior project manager Stan Logghe said: “A full year of preparation is now coming to an end with the start of the construction phase. With the installation vessel Vole au vent returned to Ostend, Jan De Nul is now ready to commence the installation of the foundations for the Northwester 2 wind farm.”