Van Oord has received an assignment from RWE to build a 100-metre high mast in the North Sea to measure maritime meteorological influences. The meteorological mast will be built 75 kilometres from the coast in the 'IJmuiden' offshore wind region, which is part of the National Water Plan.
The mast will be built on a monopile foundation consisting of a 65-metre steel tube with a diameter of almost 3.5 metres. The tube pile will be driven approximately 40 metres into the sea bed at a location where the sea is 26 metres deep.
It is the first time in Europe that a meteorological mast is being erected so far from the coast. Van Oord will complete the project as EPCI contractor, and the mast is expected to be commissioned in September 2011. The design of the mast took account of the possibility to fix sensors at four different heights (between 30 and 100 metres) to measure and record wind speeds, wind direction, temperature and differences in pressure. In order to facilitate the design of safe and cost-efficient foundations for wind turbines in the future, the mast will also be made suitable for measuring currents, wave heights and wave lengths.
The results of the investigation into wind speeds, currents and wave action will be used in the FLOW consortium (Far and Large Offshore Wind) research and development programme in which Van Oord participates.