Jan De Nul Group’s newest and the world’s largest jack-up installation vessel Voltaire recently installed its very first offshore wind turbine at Dogger Bank. It involves the very first next generation offshore wind turbine, the GE Haliade-X, for what will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

The installation of the first of 277 wind turbines, which subsequently also produced first power, was confirmed today, 10 October. The precision exercise to install the turbine was undertaken by engineers and technicians using Jan De Nul Group’s ultra-low emission vessel Voltaire, which has a crane lifting capacity of 3200 tonnes.

The turbine blades’ tips reach 260 metres above sea level; the same height as New York’s iconic Rockefeller Centre. Each blade is 107 metres long.

Manager Jan De Nul Offshore Renewables at Jan De Nul Group, Jan Van Impe: ‘Our Voltaire has proven that the scale and characteristics of the Dogger Bank offshore turbines offer the perfect challenge for this next generation state-of-the art jack-up installation vessel. We are excited to have installed the very first offshore GE Haliade-X turbine on the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in a sustainable and efficient way.’

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Dogger Bank

Dogger Bank paves the way for other large offshore wind farms. The first turbines have been installed around 130 km from the Yorkshire coast, and are connected via inter-array cables to the UK’s first unmanned HVDC offshore substation, which was set in place earlier in 2023.

Dogger Bank will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore, introducing new transmission systems to the UK and paving the way for other large offshore wind farms.

Dogger Bank A, B and C will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. This first phase of the joint venture project between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn is scheduled to be fully operational in summer 2024. When complete, all three phases – Dogger Bank A, B and C will power the equivalent of 6 million UK households or about five per cent of the UK’s electricity demand.

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The vessel is fitted with a highly advanced exhaust filtering system by means of a Selective Catalytic Reduction system and a Diesel Particulate Filter, making it the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be a European Stage V-certified Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv).

Voltaire, named after the pioneering European Enlightenment philosopher, has a lifting capacity of 3200 tonnes. Four giant legs of 130 metres support the vessel to achieve stable working conditions at water depths up to 80 meters and with an elevated load of 16,000 tonnes.

Picture: The offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire is the largest of its kind in the world and is able to install the next generation of offshore wind turbines starting with the Dogger Bank wind turbines of +13MW and 14MW.

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