Synthetic sea grass from Great Yarmouth firm could be used to protect turbines at East Anglia ONE wind farm
- Credit: Pier Marketing
Protective technology designed by a Great Yarmouth company is being put through its paces by the energy giant behind the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm project.
The system from Seabed Scour Control Systems uses synthetic grass to help protect the base of offshore wind turbines from the effects of tidal currents.
ScottishPower Renewables is testing the suitability of the products, called frond mats, for use around the jacket foundations on the turbines at its 102-turbine East Anglia ONE wind farm. They are being tested using small-scale replica models at the HR Wallingford testing facility in Oxfordshire.
The technology mimics seaweed and sea grasses by slowing down the flow of water at the base of the turbine. This protects against damage from scour, the movement of sand in the sea around the structure which can cause holes in the seabed and weaken the turbine's foundations.
Currently developers often use small rocks and boulders to perform this task, but frond mats could make the process more accurate and reduce costs.
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Charlie Jordan, project director of East Anglia ONE, said: 'We are keen to invest in technologies that have the potential to increase efficiency at the same time as reducing costs.
'Turbines need to be protected in a harsh marine environment, and although it is early days for frond mats, we are encouraged by what we have seen so far.'
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