The LEANWIND project is named after “Logistic Efficiencies And Naval architecture for Wind Installations with Novel Developments” and is a 4-year project that started in December 2013. This investigation is being undertaken by a 31-partner consortium within the FP7 framework, where it has been awarded €10 million by the European Commission,  bringing the total value to €16 million.

The main objective of the LEANWIND project (as a whole) is to contribute to reducing the overall cost of offshore wind energy, through modification of the current state of foundation design, logistics, transportation, installation, and operation and maintenance of the wind farms as part of an integrated framework.

Considering the increased interest in designing wind farms further offshore, in deeper water, and with higher capacity turbines, the LEANWIND consortium feels the need for a systematic investigation of the common foundation concepts, identification of the bottlenecks and the possible modifications or innovations that can improve the efficiency across the supply chain and decrease the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).

Scope of Work:

GDG is leading the work on optimising the offshore foundations, which includes designing substructure concepts, associated fabrication methods and installation strategies that will offer the most potential for cost reductions over the coming years. The substructure concepts considered for future technical studies include both fixed and floating solutions:

  • Bottom-fixed steel substructures will be investigated independently using a variety of numerical tools, combined with some physical model testing. The initial study will investigate innovations for both jacket structures and also for XL monopiles.
  • Gravity Based Concepts will be considered from a generic standpoint to determine the relative merits of buoyant structures that can initially be floated into position before ballasting.

The outcome of this work is to identify key technical modifications and innovative concepts. This project will also provide a valuable information pool to aid stakeholders, designers and decision makers to choose the most suitable and cost effective foundation concepts and installation methodology in a range of conditions.