World - Sustainable Mega-Ship With 400-Foot Tall Legs to Install Next-Gen 20 MW Wind Turbines
Wind power is one of the most important assets for a “green” future and, as offshore wind turbines become more advanced, bigger and more powerful vessels are required to carry them to where they need to be installed. One of the biggest European players in the offshore wind energy sector is developing the largest and the most sustainable wind farm installation vessel.
Wind turbine capacity has evolved a lot during the past decades. At the beginning of the 2000s, 2 MW wind turbines were common. Today, 14 MW turbines are being installed, and next-generation, 20 MW turbines are planned for the coming years. But, since the rotor blades of these advanced turbinesare over 328-foot (100 meters) long, they require larger transport and installation vessels.
Van Oord, a Netherlands-based company, is ready to introduce a ship that’s dedicated to next-generation wind turbines. This 574-foot (175 meters) vessel will combine advanced technology with hybrid propulsion systems. The most striking thing about this ship is that it’s designed with four giant legs, of over 400 feet (126 meters) each, which enable it to be jacked up and operate in waters that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) deep. It’s also equipped with a powerful crane that can lift more than 3,300 tons (3,000 metric tons).
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The future mega-ship will also be sustainable, by running on methanol, which helps cut the ship’s CO2 emissions by more than 78%. It will also feature an advanced emissions control technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction) that lowers Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions to a minimum. To help save fuel and reduce emissions even more, the ship will also be equipped with a 5,000 kWhbattery pack.
Van Oord’s innovative installation vessel is currently being built at the Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard, in China, and it’s set to become operational in 2024. The company will invest more than $1 billion in a sustainable, innovative fleet,over the next five years.
In almost two decades, Van Oord’s contribution has cumulated to almost 40% of the total installed offshore wind capacity, worldwide, and it will keep growing. The European Union intends to install 300 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, and, around the Globe, this capacity is expected to reach 2,000 GW.