Offshore wind-turbine generators (WTG) can be realised even in deepwater areas using floating foundations. TÜV SÜD certified the innovative support structure, developed by an industrial consortium headed by ESTEYCO. The certificate was handed over at WindEurope 2019 in Bilbao.

ELISA/ELICAN is the pilot project of an industrial consortium under the leadership of Spanish engineering and consulting firm ESTEYCO. It combines a temporarily floating foundation and a telescopic tower. During sea transport, the foundation acts as a floating barge and the telescopic tower is retracted to ensure stability during floating. For installation, the foundation of the support structure is lowered to the seabed and the telescopic tower extended. Within the scope of this project, TÜV SÜD developed a new certification procedure to ensure the safe and reliable use of this innovative support structure.

“We are very pleased about our collaboration”, says Javier Nieto, offshore division manager at ESTEYCO. “Offering in-depth technological knowledge and a high level of expertise, TÜV SÜD is the perfect partner in the effective and successful implementation of these highly sophisticated projects.”

The pilot project which will be ballasted to rest on the seabed and support the WTG during operation is a pre-stage of the development of a permanently floating foundation. “The solution developed by ESTEYCO represents a far more cost-effective method for realising offshore WTGs”, says Florian Singer, project manager at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH. “Firstly, the entire structure can be assembled from pre-cast parts in a dry dock, and secondly, transport and installation can be effected without the costly use of special installation vessels and cranes.” According to Singer, certification of the floating foundation will be completed shortly.

TÜV SÜD has been accredited by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH) for the certification of offshore wind farms and as a certification body for offshore and onshore wind turbines and their components. TÜV SÜD's experts have extensive experience in all types of inspections, expert reports and certifications required within the scope of international offshore projects.