Combination of technical and procedural expertise
In the northwestern corner of Flevoland, the construction of 61 wind turbines, 37 on land (onshore) and 24 on the IJsselmeer (nearshore), is in full swing. The turbines are being built at the Windplanblauw wind farm near the village of Swifterbant. The construction of a substation, crane emplacements and other infrastructure are also part of the project. ABT subsidiary Windbase is advising client SwifterwinT about all the civil engineering contracts of the project. The new wind turbines will be replacing smaller models which were at the end of the their lifespan. With a total capacity of 335 MW, Windplanblauw will generate enough green electricity to power around 400,000 households.
Other side of the table
“We’re now sitting on the other side of the table”, says civil engineering package manager Paul Schraven of Windbase. “We were hired for this technically challenging project to check all the documents supplied by the contractors. The client doesn’t only want to use our knowledge about the design of foundations, but is also calling upon our broader expertise, both technical and procedural.
We are participating in the project organization for Windplanblauw, with our technical team available in the background. We think that this particular combination of technology and process is a strength. As a firm, we have a lot of experience with this in other areas, which we are now using for a wind project for the first time.”
Windplanblauw is a partnership between energy company Vattenfall and SwifterwinT, a unique local initiative. SwifterwinT is a cooperative partnership between 170 (agricultural) entrepreneurs, residents, and turbine owners in the project area. They share the returns individually and every year, part of these go to projects that improve livability in Swifterbant and its environment.
Paul: “As civil engineering package manager, I stand for an integral approach and operate as a kind of playmaker. One of my tasks is getting the documents to be checked to the right colleagues in the Windbase organization. These concern construction work on the foundations, roads, crane emplacements, bridges, and temporary constructions. Additionally, I’m involved in all technical discussions regarding the various contracts. Together or in consultation with concrete specialist and quality engineer Casper Meijer, we also regularly make inspection rounds outside.
Land foundation in the water
For the nearshore contract, the wind turbines on the water, Windbase drew up a proof of concept for realising a land foundation in the IJsselmeer. The design provides for a construction with a combi wall. Paul Schraven: “Placing a land foundation in the IJsselmeer is a special project, considering it will have to deal with forces that are typical for water, such as wave load, ice load, and collision load from vessels. The method of laying a foundation is also different. Offshore turbines are normally built on a monopile foundation. Partly due to the shallowness of the IJsselmeer, this is not possible at this location.
“The process and cooperation with all parties involved is going according to plan”, says Paul. The dynamics feel familiar to Windbase. At the same time, the company is also learning from the relatively new role which it is now playing on behalf on the client. The company will remain committed to this until the completion and commissioning of the new wind turbines. It is expected that Windplanblauw will be commissioned in the final quarter of 2023.
- Client Windbase: SwifterwinT, Aratis
- Contractor for foundations, roads, and onshore crane emplacements: Dura Vermeer
- Contractor nearshore foundations: Ballast Nedam
- Contractor substation: Hitachi Energy
- Transport and installation of turbines nearshore: Mammoet
- Turbines suppliers: Vestas (onshore) en GE Renewable Energy (nearshore)
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