Business in Wind completes unique project removing onshore wind turbines from the water

Business in Wind removed the last of 5 Nordex N80 wind turbines along the A15 highway, on the bank of the Hartel Canal on 20 May. What made this project unique is that the wind turbines were not dismantled and removed on land but from the water. This challenging project was completed in just one week.

The 5 wind turbines by Eneco, each with a hub height and rotor diameter of 80 meters and a capacity of 2.5 MW, had been here since 2003. A total of 9 wind turbines were installed at that time, but 4 were already removed in 2016.

Removal of onshore wind turbines from the water

Although the first 4 wind turbines were removed by land, this was not the obvious solution for the remaining 5 turbines. The widening of the A15 over time meant the remaining 5 turbines could only be dismantled by temporarily closing of this busy motorway.

Wim Robbertsen, Managing Director of Business in Wind, designed and submitted a plan to carry out the dismantling and removal from the water. Wim involved HEBO Maritiemservice. The plan was approved by the client after extensive design calculations.

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Photo: van Ei naar Kip

A work island was then specially put together for this project. It consisted of a 100 meter long and 33 meter wide pontoon. A Liebherr LR 1600 600 ton crawler crane, supplied by BKV Kraanverhuur, and a 100 ton crawler crane from HEBO Maritiemservice were placed on deck. Together they would dismantle the 5 wind turbines. The HEBO Lift 2 served as an accommodation ship for personnel. On May 14, the first dismantling activities started. Koppejan Wind Service carried out these dismantling activities.

Keeping the pontoon in position

There can be a strong current on the Hartelkanaal and high and low tides can lead to a difference in water height of about 1.7 meters. In addition, other shipping traffic can also provide movement in the water surrounding the pontoon. It was therefore important that the pontoon was kept in position to be able to carry out the activities properly and safely. For example, the crane could not be allowed to swing while lifting heavy parts.

Everything listened closely. The pontoon was taken to the designated location with a pusher, tugboat and the HEBO LIFT 2. Once there, the HEBO LIFT 2 lowered the spud poles and the tugboat sailed the anchors to stay in position. Pumps moved ballast water from port to starboard and back again to keep the pontoon leveled and stable at all times. To maintain the position from the shore, steel cables were stretched between the wind turbine and the work island. Despite being a unique project, the 5 wind turbines were removed in just one week.

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Photo: Anneke Robbertsen


The old wind turbines will not be given a second life. A number of parts serve as spare parts, while other parts are recycled as much as possible. This is carried out by Jansen Recycling Group in Vlaardingen. The turbine parts were transported here with push barges.

At the moment there are no plans to replace the old wind turbines. Business in Wind is also responsible for the removal of the foundations (not only of these 5 wind turbines but also of the turbines removed in 2016) and for clearing the site.

Anneke, PR Business in Wind, followed the project and reported on this on her Facebook page. Although in Dutch, the many photos illustrate the entire process. Anneke will also visit the recycling company. We will report on this in the near future.

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