A study by energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy suggests that 2020 will see the highest ever number of jacket-type foundations used for new offshore wind developments, a trend it said is led by the UK
A total of 258 turbines to be installed in 2020 will have a jacket foundation, the most to date in a single year. That equates to around 20% of all offshore turbines to be commissioned globally, Rystad data shows.
ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia One project alone will account for 102 turbines, all to be installed with jacket foundations. It is the only European project that will start in 2020 and the largest ever to make use of jacket foundations.
The jackets for the project are being fabricated by Navantia in Spain (42), Lamprell in the Middle East (36) and Harland & Wolff in Northern Ireland (24) and will be installed by Van Oord.
Another large-scale British project, Moray East, will use 100 jacket foundations and is set to become operational in late 2021. Offshore construction work on Moray East got underway in mid-2019.
Jackets are commonly selected for projects installed in greater water depths than those usually served by monopiles. Rystad said this meant water depths greater than 30 m, although monopiles are by no means ruled out at such depths.
Between 1990 and 2019, around 75% of all commissioned offshore windfarms were in water depths of 30 m or less. Rystad Energy expects only around 55-60% of new windfarms to be commissioned in shallow water like this between 2020-2025.
Rystad Energy vice president and product manager offshore wind Alexander Flore said, “The greater share of the market that jacket foundations are securing follows the trend for offshore windfarms in deeper water, in more mature regions.
“As shallow-water areas become more heavily populated with turbines, countries that want to increase their offshore wind capacity will have to look to deeper water.”
Rystad data shows that at least 479 more offshore turbines with jacket foundations will be installed in Europe between 2021 and 2025. Its global estimate for that period is of at least 1,083 jackets, including Europe, making it the second most popular type of foundation for bottom-fixed turbines after monopiles.
The research house noted that although the market for manufacturing monopiles has been dominated by well-known players such as Sif Group and EEW, the market for jackets is open to a larger number of steel fabricators, whose business has historically focused on offshore oil and gas projects.