🇸🇪 AFRY launches joint industry project on gravity-based foundations for offshore wind

June 14, 2024
Contributing to the future of offshore wind in the Baltic region

AFRY is calling for energy stakeholders to participate in a Joint Industry Project (JIP) focused on the deployment of Gravity Based Foundations (GBFs) for offshore wind energy in the Northern Baltic Sea. This region, surrounded by Finland, Sweden, and Estonia, presents unique challenges such as hard soils and severe ice loading, which may pose challenges for traditional monopiles and piled jackets.

The Northern Baltic Sea has the potential to generate over 100 GW of offshore wind energy, with a realistic goal of 35 GW by 2050. Given the area’s specific conditions, GBFs could be the best solution for up to 70% of these projects, potentially leading to the installation of over 1,290 GBFs.

GBFs offer several advantages. They perform effectively under severe ice conditions, their installation generates less noise than traditional methods, and are easier to install in rocky soils. Unlike pile driving, GBFs can be placed on the seabed without drilling, thus reducing environmental disruption. Additionally, they can be completely removed, leaving a clean seabed and enabling recycling.

As the business case for large-scale deployment of GBFs comes with complex challenges, it requires collaboration across various sectors.

AFRY’s JIP aims to pool resources and knowledge from different stakeholders to overcome these challenges. By working together, participants will reduce risks and share the benefits of high-value research. The JIP will focus on assessing the business case for GBFs and exploring technical, production, logistic, environmental, and local supply chain aspects. It also aims to provide a platform for future business development. This initiative will significantly boost local economies and establish a new industry recognised worldwide.

The JIP will include five main workstreams:

  • Environmental impact
  • Design concepts
  • Local supply chain and ports
  • Transport & installation
  • Socio-economic aspects.

These workstreams will cover everything from regulatory frameworks and CO₂ footprints to soil conditions and fabrication logistics. The workstreams will start in Q3 2024, with reports expected to be published by mid-2025. The JIP aims to conclude within a year.

AFRY invites interested parties to join this JIP and contribute to the future of offshore wind in the region. Participants can contribute through funding, providing expertise, or engaging in knowledge sharing. With the feedback of all participants we will jointly shape the programme of this JIP and kick-off works shortly after.

Originally published on 14 June by AFRY.

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