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EnBW and Heerema Implement Noise Mitigation System at He Dreiht Offshore Wind Farm

EnBW and Heerema Marine Contractors have achieved a significant milestone in environmental stewardship at EnBW’s He Dreiht offshore wind farm. Testing and real-world applications have demonstrated that the innovative noise mitigation system T-NMS-10000, constructed in collaboration with IQIP, combined with a double big bubble curtain and IQIP’s PULSE system, reduces underwater noise by up to 24 decibels (dB).

The T-NMS-10000 acts as a giant subsea noise barrier for monopiles, effectively containing internal noise emissions. This massive steel structure comprises an inner tube approximately 12 meters in diameter (suitable for 10m diameter monopiles) and an outer tube roughly 13 meters in diameter, separated by rubber blocks. Air compressors expel the water column between these tubes, creating an air barrier across the entire water depth. The T-NMS-10000 contributes significantly to noise mitigation, reducing noise by up to 15 dB, as measured by ITAP.

In response to stringent environmental regulations in the German Bight, which cap noise levels at 160 dB at 750 meters from the source, EnBW committed early in the He Dreiht project design to develop this latest generation noise mitigation system (NMS). This system, an upscaling of previous models complemented with a truss frame template structure, allows deployment with floating installation vessels. Heerema accelerated and completed its development with additional research and engineering efforts. The reduction of underwater noise pollution aligns with Germany’s commitment to marine conservation.

Stefanie Höper, Project Manager at EnBW, stated, “The development of the free-standing T-NMS-10000 for application with floating installation vessels was initiated in 2022 by EnBW, considering the application of an NMS fundamental to the installation of its 9.2 m diameter monopiles in the He Dreiht project within applicable noise limits. By pioneering the T-NMS-10000, Heerema, IQIP, and EnBW not only meet regulatory requirements but also contribute to a sustainable future and set an example for sustainable marine construction.”

After Heerema was contracted for the installation, the T-NMS-10000 was further developed and built by Heerema and IQIP. Erik Bögels, Senior Project Manager at Heerema, commented, “Having been involved in the development of the T-NMS-10000 for the past two years, we are thrilled to see it in action at the He Dreiht offshore wind farm installation. We have estimated the reduction performance of this tool extensively, so it’s great to see that the T-NMS-10000 lives up to its expectations. This new tool not only significantly reduces the noise levels generated during pile driving but also sets a new standard for sustainable marine construction practices.”

‘He Dreiht’ will be Germany’s largest offshore wind farm with a capacity of 960 Megawatts and is scheduled to enter operation at the end of 2025. The semi-submersible crane vessel Thialf is currently progressing on the installation of the 64 monopiles and transition pieces over the next few weeks. Uniquely, the He Dreiht project is being built without state funding, with around 2.4 billion euros being invested. EnBW’s offshore office in Hamburg is coordinating this major project.

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