The DolWin beta offshore converter platform has reached its final destination in the North Sea where it will soon serve as a critical link between one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm clusters and the German power grid.
The 320-kilovolt converter station has a 916 megawatts (MW) power transmission capacity, making it the world’s most powerful installation of its kind and enough to power more than 1,000,000 households with clean energy.
The offshore converter station is part of the DolWin2 project, which will be operated by transmission system operator TenneT and will connect offshore wind farms in the North Sea’s DolWin cluster, currently the largest offshore wind farm cluster worldwide, with the German grid. The main function of the station will be to convert the electricity generated by the offshore wind farms from alternating current (AC) into high-voltage direct current (HVDC) for efficient and reliable transmission to the mainland.
The complete platform including substructure weighs around 23,000 tons and is around 100 meters long, 70 meters wide and 100 meters tall. It was transported last year from Dubai, where it was built, to Aibel’s shipyard in Haugesund, Norway where the platform was outfitted. The platform reached its final destination last week at the DolWin cluster, 45 kilometers off the German coast.
Although reminiscent of a semi-submersible, the DolWin beta utilizes a self-installing gravity-based structure (GBS) concept, where the platform is slowly ballasted down to the seabed by filling the six columns with water, which will later be replaced by gravel to permanently secure the platform at the site.
Bonus video from the installation:
All photos courtesy ABB