Ramboll joins China’s wind farm projects

Danish engineering consultancy Ramboll has been commissioned as lead designer for the construction of offshore wind farms in Guangdong province, China. The company was selected by the project developer, SPIC Guangdong Offshore Wind Power Ltd.

The first two of approximately 500 offshore wind turbine foundations have now been designed and fabricated. According to Ramboll, these monopiles are not only the largest in the world – they have a weight of 1,600 t each compared to the current record of 1,300 t – they are also installed at the greatest water depth seen for wind turbines in China so far: 37 m.

In the project, Ramboll has provided consultancy on geotechnical and met ocean investigations and has applied ROSAP to calculate how the turbines, earthquakes, waves, current and tide will impact the structures and how they will react to typhons. The area was hit by no less than 18 typhoons during the 2018 typhoon season.

The offshore wind farms will be located near the rapidly growing Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Jieyang. There are ambitious plans to install 15 to 20 GW of wind power in Guangdong, said Ramboll.

“Guangdong is the province with the highest GDP in mainland China, and it is also one of the richest and the most populous in the nation. In this province we see an increasing demand for energy as well as a demand to reduce air pollution in the cities. We can meet the demand from the population for clean energy with wind energy, which can now commercially compete with coal and other fossil fuels. So we need this wind farm now and we need it fast,” said Zhang Yi, chief engineer of SPIC Guangdong Electric Power Co Ltd.

”Ramboll completed the design of the two monopiles super-fast so that the design and fabrication took less than five months, which is two-three times faster than usual. Our comprehensive experience from the design of offshore wind farms in Europe and our in-house design programme enabled us to do it so quickly,” said Søren Juel Petersen, Ramboll’s global market director.

Ramboll has worked with offshore wind in China since 2004 and was in 2015, as the first European consultancy, commissioned with the design of one of the country’s largest offshore wind farms SPIC Binhai North H1 in the Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai. Since then Ramboll has won four other contracts in China, not least because Ramboll has designed more than 60% of all offshore wind turbine foundations in the world. Also, the company’s in-house software programme ROSAP (Ramboll Offshore Structural Analysis Package) enables the company to further optimise calculations of the steel required for the foundations, typically cutting steel costs by up to 20%.