The Bundesamt fur Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) has approved the new foundation type, which secures the tower to the seabed via the creation of a vacuum.
The aim of the design is to remove the need for driving monopiles. The installation process is also considered more environmentally friendly and reduces costs.
In January, Danish developer Dong was awarded £6 million (EUR 7.3 million) by the UK's Carbon Trust to build a full-scale demonstration model of a suction bucket foundation for turbines. Dutch contractor SPT was contracted to install them.
The performance and stability of the turbine foundation prototype will be tested at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 in the German North Sea, where the sandy soil conditions make the site ideal for testing the new concept.