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  • Test findings will lead to an optimized solution for the foundations
  • In the fall of 2014, the German engineering and services group will test steel foundations for Wikinger offshore wind project under a contract worth some €20 million
  • With an investment of nearly €1.4 billion, the 350-MW offshore wind project developed by Iberdrola will comprise of 70 wind turbines

IBERDROLA has awarded German engineering and services group Bilfinger a contract worth approximately €20 million to manufacture, install and test several steel foundations at the location of Wikinger offshore wind project, currently being developed in the Baltic Sea.

In the fall of 2014, in order to optimize the design and manufacture of foundations, Bilfinger will drive steel piles into the seabed at selected locations of the site. Tension and pressure tests will be conducted under water following a static period of several weeks.

This engineering work complements geological surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012/13 campaigns which obtained abundant information about the characteristics of the seabed. Iberdrola is cooperating with several universities and organisations specialised in subsea geotechnics and engineering with which it will conduct a similar pile testing on the ground.

The findings of the works contracted to Bilfinger will not only be useful for the project but will also provide valuable information on offshore piling in similar Baltic Sea geological formations which can be found in other projects.

Xabier Viteri, Director of IBERDROLA’s Renewables business, said: “The Wikinger project is making very good progress and this pile testing work is essential for the project’s engineering solution to be technically and economically optimized. We are very pleased to have appointed German company Bilfinger to carry out this important contract for the project.”

The Wikinger offshore wind farm is being developed by Iberdrola in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of the island of Rügen, where the water depths range between 37 and 43 metres. The project covers an area of roughly 34km², within which 70 turbines and one offshore substation are planned to be installed.

Once in operation, the 350-MW wind farm will produce electricity equivalent to the consumption of more than 350,000 German households and will avoid the emission of almost 600,000 tons of CO2/year.

With an investment of almost €1.4 billion, Wikinger will have a significant economic impact through the entire supply chain and will help create hundreds of new jobs.


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