United States

United States

Monopiles can be used for Lake Erie project

UNITED STATES: Monopile turbines can be installed at the 18MW Icebreaker offshore wind plant in Lake Erie, Ohio, a preliminary engineering report for the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LeedCo) has found.

LeedCo's icebreaker foundation
LeedCo's icebreaker foundation

The six turbines planned for the demonstration site would be driven into 24 metres of sand, clay and glacial materials under the lake resting on the shale bedrock.

The five-metre-wide heavy-duty steel monopiles would be installed with a large steel and concrete collar in the shape of an inverted cone, designed to protect it from crushing ice that could destroy the turbines.

One of engineering companies involved in the study was UK-based Offshore Design Engineering, which has more than 30 years' experience building offshore structures in the North Sea.

Offshore Design Engineering's business development manager, Dan Woodman, said: "This is the most common foundation used in the business today." He noted the monopile would work because the 70-tonne turbine is relatively light, and the water where the project is planned is only 18 metres deep.

The engineering team’s six-month study noted the turbine towers can re-establish thriving fishing grounds by pushing oxygen into the lake’s"‘dead zones".

LeedCo has received more than $4 million in federal grants and engineering companies have spent more than $1 million on the project.

Construction is planned for spring 2017.


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