Failed: Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations, Blades and Cables

FAILED:  Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations, Blades and Cables

If Cape Wind was constructed as 130 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines, it would have failed.  

Offshore wind blades, monopole foundations, and cables have failed featuring Cape Wind specifications, 

(130) Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines. 

The US has adopted the European monopole standard foundation design code (J101).  Borrowing from oil and gas industries technology, they failed to incorporate wave and other critical load factors!  


The U.K. Supreme Court has made a landmark ruling, 7/17, that the fundamental offshore wind turbine design code has failed, industry-wide.  The U.S. has adopted the U.K. offshore wind design code (J101).

Industry Tech source explains in detail what went wrong with offshore wind monopoles historically “sinking”, “shifting” and “corroding”-

‘Offshore Wind Foundations: Research Needs And Innovation Opportunities - Wind Systems Magazine’

“The need for design refinements can be traced back to the fundamental goal of design standards, which is to ensure that resistance is larger than the applied loads. The offshore wind industry, however, whose towers differ substantially from oil platforms in terms of loads and resistance, has adopted foundation design protocols of oil and gas installations but has selectively addressed only some of the characteristic differences of the two industries, and what’s more, has done so independently of each other. This has led to offshore wind foundation standards that lack an overall design philosophy, and have large built-in uncertainties in the characterization of loads and resistance — wind speed, wave height, wave kinematics and slam forces, steel and soil stiffness and strength, and soil-foundation interaction — uncertainties that are, in fact, disproportionately larger than the narrow window of performance requirements of offshore wind installations...”


Hence-‘Dramatic Technology Shifts are Expected for Offshore Wind Technology’:



Recent reports indicate that major repairs are required on 500 offshore wind turbines in United Kingdom waters, and nearly two hundred more at sites off the Danish and German coasts. Whether this is type failure or just normal wear and tear is as yet unclear, and is, according to Danish news reports, in dispute. 

One of the principal disadvantages of rapid and inorganic technological deployment, such as that required by the European Union’s renewable energy targets, is that problems are very widespread by the time they are discovered. The prudent approach is to stay behind the learning curve, so that the consequences of type failure affect only a small number of installations. Dashing ahead of the learning curve is asking for big trouble.

Recent weeks have seen several reports that Ørsted, as DONG Energy is now called, is faced with the distressed repair of over six hundred offshore wind turbines supplied by Siemens. Five hundred of these are in British waters, and somewhat over one hundred are offshore Denmark, with a further 80 in German waters.

West of Duddon Sands, a joint venture between Ørsted and ScottishPower, is an offshore wind farm of 108 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines (SWT 3.6 MW) with a total capacity of 388.8 MW. It was officially opened by the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davy, and began generating in February 2014.

It now appears that all 108 wind turbines have erosion problems on the leading edges of their blades, requiring removal and reconditioning. Renewable Energy News(renews, issue 377, available only to subscribers), is reporting that this will entail the application of a rubber covering, a process that will take three to ten days per turbine. Work is expected to start later this year and will stretch into 2019.

Renewable Energy News added that this problem was also present at Ørsted’s Walney 2 offshore windfarm, a site comprising 51 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines with a capacity of 183.6 MW.

In total, Renewable Energy News stated that the problem was found in 500 UK offshore wind turbines, and was probably also found in at least one, unnamed, German offshore wind farm, affecting some 80 turbines.

The Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten (Danish report here: and translated here) and RE News online are now both reporting that the problem also affects the Danish Anholt offshore wind farm, a site comprising 111 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines,with a total capacity of 400 MW. Some 27 of the wind turbines were repaired last year, 2017, and the remaining 84 are scheduled for repair in the coming year.

The Siemens 3.6 MW turbine which appears in all these instances entered the market in 2010, and there are, according to RE News, some 950 in European waters.

The cost of the repairs will almost certainly be very large. Assuming a repair vessel charter rate of about £150,000 per day, and, say, five days per turbine, this amounts £750,000 per turbine, plus additional labour and equipment costs. In total the cost seems unlikely to be less than £1m per turbine, which equivalent to between 5% and 10% of the total project cost. Even if it is only half that sum, this is a very expensive repair very soon after commissioning, to say nothing of the lost generation and income during the repairs.

It is not yet clear who is to pay for this work.

Cut and continuing-

But if the need for these repairs is, as Siemens is apparently contending, just every day wear and tear, then this sort of problem is unlikely to be confined to the SWT 3.6 MW device, and will be strong evidence confirming long-held suspicions that developers and owners have greatly underestimated the normal cost of wind farm Operation and Maintenance (O&M).

Read full article, here:



Insurance industry source for insured offshore Wind corrosion issues-  

Summary:  Offshore wind turbines are corroding internally & externally & industry is challenged to correct ongoing problems.



[Offshore Wind] ‘Industry must face up to growing cable failures’

“Operational failures now make up about 80% in value of all cable-related claims, a delegate from the insurance industry claimed...”

“Cable failures are one of the main risks affecting offshore wind operations 
Cable failures are one of the main risks affecting offshore wind operations because they can shut down an (important part of an) offshore wind farm for a duration of months, resulting in a financial as well as a societal impact. Despite the fact that power cables typically form only 5 to 10% of the total investment costs in an offshore windfarm, they account by far for most of the unavailability of the windfarms, and for claim costs of 100s of millions of Euros annually. In view of the development of the number of offshore wind farms, this amount will increase considerably in the future. Cable inspections and repairs are expensive maritime operations. Repairs on cables can easily take weeks or even months because of the weather or the limited available of equipment and vessels. That can severely impair revenue and also reduce the technical lifetime of offshore wind farms...”

Cable installation and repair cost-

Cable problems, (more than 70% of wind project insurance claims), repair average cost is U.S. $6,450,630.08.  

( conversion € 5 million).

Subsea Cable INSTALLATION cost averages $6 million per mile per Sue Tierney Analysis Group

Offshore Cabling 2017

2017-03-07 - 2017-03-09
Cable damages remain an ongoing issue with average costs of € 5 million per repair.  

continuing from above CABLE FAILURE-
Submarine cable repairs account for more than 70 % of all insurance claims of installed wind parks.

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Comment by arthur qwenk on May 24, 2018 at 10:35pm

A failed technology whose time has past.

Comment by Barbara Durkin on May 23, 2018 at 10:12am

A very good comment by Mr. Heller was inadvertently deleted by myself.  I’m sorry, Mr. Heller.  Please repost if you’re so inclined.  


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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