SMart Wind successfully installs Round 3's first met mast

SMart Wind, the joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures, today announced the successful installation of the first meteorological mast in the 4GW Hornsea Zone. One of nine zones awarded licences by the Crown Estate in 2009 this is the first zone to install a met mast.

The met mast uses the world's first "twisted jacket" foundation for the offshore wind industry which was designed by Keystone Engineering. This novel foundation design, funded in partnership with the Carbon Trust and DONG Energy, aims to significantly reduce foundation CAPEX costs.The met mast will collect high quality wind data up to 103m above the sea using a full suite of metocean instruments including cup and ultrasonic anamometers, wind vanes, sea and air temperature and pressure sensors, and a wave height sensor. This data will be collected throughout the coming years to inform the wind farm design activities and energy production estimates.

I'm pleased to announce today that a project funded through the Offshore Wind Accelerator has been successfully installed with a met mast by the SMart Wind consortium, with funding support from DONG Energy. This kind of innovation will bring down the cost of offshore wind faster.

- Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

This is another first for SMart Wind and a clear demonstration that we're fully committed to starting construction in 2014. Reducing the Cost of Energy is a key focus for SMart Wind and the new "twisted jacket" foundation is a practical and example of how we're leading the way in terms of real cost reductions and innovation.

- Andy Kinsella, Chairman of SMart Wind and CEO of Mainstream's Offshore Business

The installation of the 'twisted jacket' marks an important step for UK offshore wind in embracing foundation technology that could dramatically reduce construction costs. The Carbon Trust congratulates our Offshore Wind Accelerator partners Mainstream, DONG Energy and Keystone Engineering in successfully deploying what is a cost-effective design well suited to future mass production.

- Benj Sykes, Director of Innovation, at the Carbon Trust


The Hornsea project has achieved the following milestones and is firmly on track to commence construction in 2014:

  • March 2010: Full suite of environmental surveys commenced. 
  • April 2010: Ten Phase 1 consultation events took place. 
  • September 2010: Grid connection obtained for first two 500MW projects (1GW in total) 
  • May 2011: Appointed Fugro Geoconsulting Ltd to carry out Geotechnical Investigation works 
  • August 2011: Signed Agreements for Lease (AFLs) with The Crown Estate for the first two 500MW projects.

The "twisted jacket" prototype is a finalist in the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator competition to find the most innovative and cost effective turbine foundation designs for deeper water conditions. HOCHTIEF Solutions AG Civil Engineering and Marine Works branch is the lead EPCI contractor for the construction and installation of the met mast. The company has supported SMart Wind from the beginning in achieving their targets. Under a separate agreement, University College Dublin, under support from Enterprise Ireland, and Fugro Structural Monitoring Limited will install structural instrumentation on the foundation to help further develop the 'Twisted Jacket' designs and give confidence that it is performing as expected.

The prototype is one of four finalists from the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) foundations competition. The OWA is a collaborative RD&D programme between the Carbon Trust, DONG Energy, E.ON, Mainstream Renewable Power, RWE Innogy, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables, Statkraft and Statoil that aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind by 10%.


Key facts on the zone - Hornsea (Zone 4)

  • The Hornsea zone will provide enough electricity to meet 4% of all electricity demand in the UK and power approximately 3 million homes.
  • The UK goal for renewable electricity generation is approximately 30%. Hornsea's offshore generation will account for approximately 12% of that target.
  • The width of the Hornsea zone is approximately equivalent to the width of the UK from Liverpool to Hull. 
  • The total zone area is 4,735 km².
  • The zone lies between 34km and 190km off the Yorkshire coast.
  • Water depths across the zone are predominantly between 30 and 40m, with maximum depths to 70m.
  • The zone is adjacent to the River Humber, 200km south of Newcastle and 75km north of The Wash.
  • The Humber estuary is triangulated by three main population centres, Hull to the north, Grimsby to the southeast and Scunthorpe to the southwest.

About Mainstream Renewable Power

Since its inception in February 2008, Mainstream Renewable Power has grown to become a global company with 100 employees across seven countries and four continents. Mainstream's mission is to work together with partners and communities to deliver a successful business that accelerates global progress towards a sustainable future. The company's vision is of a future where economies can thrive, free from the restrictions of fossil fuels. Mainstream has the passion, the expertise and the resources to make that vision a reality.

Mainstream's Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind in London combines a dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is united by a passion and vision to deliver commercially viable projects at pace and at scale. Building on the experience of key individuals responsible for developing the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, the team continues to attract key experienced individuals from the UK offshore wind industry and beyond. To date the team has secured development rights for the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland and is developing the 1GW Horizont project in German waters.


About Siemens Financial Services/Siemens Project Ventures

Together with renowned partners, Siemens Project Ventures (SPV) has with equity capital contributions been involved worldwide in the development of infrastructure projects, particularly in the energy, transport and telecommunication sectors. SPV has already participated in the development of 11 international power plant projects with an overall capacity of more than 7.000 MW as well as in three telecommunication projects, two medical centers and an airport, with a cumulative project volume of 7 billion USD. SPV is a Group company of Siemens Financial Services GmbH (SFS), an international provider of financial solutions in the business-to-business area. With about 1,900 employees and an international network of financial companies coordinated by Siemens Financial Services GmbH, Munich, we support Siemens as well as non-affiliated companies, focusing on the three sectors of energy, industry and healthcare. We finance infrastructure, equipment and working capital and act as a competent manager of financial risks within Siemens. By leveraging our financing expertise and our industrial know-how we create value for our customers and help them strengthen their competitiveness.


The Crown Estate

On behalf of the nation, The Crown Estate manages a highly diverse property portfolio across the United Kingdom. Our job is laid down by Parliament; to enhance the value of the estates we manage; and to earn a surplus for the benefit of the UK taxpayer. Our multi-million property and land portfolio annually contributes over £200 million to the Treasury and encompasses four main estates; urban, rural, Windsor and marine. Operating on commercial principles balance with a strong sense of stewardship, we take our responsibility to manage our assets sustainably very seriously. The marine estate comprises of virtually the entire seabed out to the territorial limit approximately 12 nautical miles (nm) from the coast, including the rights to explore and utilise the natural resources of the UK continental shelf (excluding oil, gas and coal).