Advanced protection for a world first - Blyth Wind Farm

Advanced protection for a world's first - Blyth wind farm

Image used for illustrative purposes only

AkzoNobel’s market leading coatings will protect a small offshore wind farm 0.5 miles off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland, powering up to ultimately 36,000 homes with a total generation capacity of 41.5MW.

Five years before the project started, a meteorological mast was placed to gather data on the conditions and then five wind assets became operational after that. Assembly took place on the River Tyne, which points to the heritage of the area and its continued focus on developing offshore wind.

Historically, a majority of foundation structures for offshore wind are made completely with steel. However, Blyth is the first offshore wind farm globally to use float and submerge technology. This means that the wind energy assets are supported with gravity-based foundations, which are transported by floating, which therefore made it cheaper to install as it didn’t require drilling the foundations into the seabeds.

This case study is an example of how AkzoNobel connects the dots by combining its capabilities in driving sustainability, quality, and performance, with its specialised wind asset protection, and its focus on product innovation and development.

World's First float & submerged technology

The Challenge

Within offshore wind, the foundation type does vary quite a bit depending on the ground conditions. Since a majority of this project has taken place in the North Sea, the gravity-based foundations are able to adapt to the harsh conditions of the sea where the water levels can reach up to 80 meters deep.

The 8.3 MW turbines are amongst the most powerful of their type to be used offshore. Since wind energy assets usually tend to have a lifespan of 20-25 years, it’s important to stress the benefits of the protective coatings.

The location of this windfarm, the North Sea, also presented a challenge. When looking at the presence of windfarms in the area, offshore wind ends around Teesside and starts to appear back in Scotland. Therefore, Blyth windfarm was viewed as a test case with a view to build a larger offshore wind presence in the North East coast.

Harsh North Sea conditions

The Solution

The Interzone® 954 and Interthane® 990 coatings from our International® brand are making sure that Blyth windfarm’s foundation pieces are kept in optimum condition, providing essential corrosion protection and long term structural integrity. Interzone 954 is ideally suited to offshore transition pieces with proven anticorrosive performance. It is a preferred choice globally and has been used across a large number of projects.

For the concrete element of the wind energy assets, Intercrete® products were applied. The technology used to coat these assets is specifically designed to suit concrete structures.

Since the wind industry began more than 40 years ago, AkzoNobel continues to set the industry standard and lead the way with our extensive International® product range, which has been integral to offshore projects. Paired with technical expertise, AkzoNobel provides a ‘tip-to-toe’ approach, offering a range of high quality coatings for all aspects of a wind energy asset.

Challenging environment

The Results

With there being only five assets, the timeline of Blyth windfarm only took place over a couple of months with completion occurring in 2017. Since it was a test project to begin with, Blyth windfarm has been in working condition for 6 years now proving the excellent lifespan of Interzone 954 and Interthane 990.

Adam Stephenson, Sales Cluster Manager on Marine and Protective for UK, Ireland, and Benelux said: “These are products that have been used offshore for 40 years and the reason they were chosen for this project is down to track record.

“People have confidence that these protective coatings work, last, and they have the performance required. Within offshore, there is a resistance to change so relying on products with strong track records and data behind them is crucial.

AkzoNobel is working to ultimately connect the dots of the industry through technical expertise and tip-to-toe solutions, and as a company, we are proud to have not only supplied coatings for Blyth windfarm but to have brought attention to an area that is right for offshore development.” 

Download case study leaflet here

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