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Onshore Wind
Introduction

Onshore Wind

As developers strive to lower the cost of energy, wind farms grow taller, heavier and more remote. This increases the technical challenge of bringing turbine components to site and assembling them. So, identifying efficiencies throughout the project cycle is more important than ever.

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Growing pains

The pace of growth in onshore wind is staggering. Over the last five years, turbine power output has doubled, hub heights have grown by over 50%, and rotors have lengthened to 170m in diameter. 

These changes are increasing the number of viable wind farm locations; crucial when so many suitable sites are already occupied. They are also helping developers to optimize yields from windier, more remote areas. But this innovation comes at a price.  

As nacelles get heavier, roads and hardstands must be widened to fit larger lifting equipment. As tower sections get larger, fewer routes to site can be used transport them. As hub heights grow, less equipment has adequate reach. 

Each phase of a wind farm’s construction is linked closely to the next. By considering the entire development process early during each project, design changes can be made that facilitate later savings.   

The right logistics strategy minimizes road modifications. The right lifting approach cuts down on civil works. Smart on-site transportation reduces the time between each pad, shortening schedules.   

Crucially, all of the above can reduce the time and cost pressure on each project, making each project more cost-effective, safe and reducing the cost of energy.  

Every kilometer counts

The increasing size and weight of wind turbine components means routes must be planned with precision. Every extra centimeter or kilogram could rule out the best path to site.

Modern nacelles push the limit of what it is possible to transport on public roads. Approaching 150t, these giants are tall enough to strike lower bridges, and can crush weaker road surfaces. 

Transporting blades over 80m requires space to be cleared and permits to be obtained for the entire route. As wind farms move to more remote locations, the path to site becomes longer, infrastructure becomes less well-developed, while tunnels and bridges pose an additional challenge.   

Developers find themselves faced with a choice: to either make costly route modifications or re-route components hundreds of kilometers overland - impacting later lifting and installation phases. Mammoet’s onshore wind expertise can help. 

Our experts use blade lifters, tower clamps and extendible trailers to engineer routes that avoid expensive route modifications or detours. This allows components to be transported along previously impassable roads - reducing the route length, cutting down on civil works and requiring less permitting.

This allows components to be brought to site more quickly, more reliably and with lower up-front investment.

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Video- Mammoet’s specialized equipment eases the delivery of tower sections through mountainous Norway. 

Pieter Jacobs, Head of Onshore Wind
Pieter Jacobs, Head of Onshore Wind

“The industry continues to experience great change; pushing higher towards more reliable flows; to more remote terrain where the wind is stronger, and of course developing more advanced and typically heavier generation technology to achieve the best yields.  

Mammoet will play a leading role in the future of onshore wind, innovating technologies and techniques to discover new construction efficiencies, and allowing our customers to generate cost-effective, competitive energy.”

Pieter Jacobs, Head of Onshore Wind
Pieter Jacobs, Head of Onshore Wind

A smooth production line

A successful wind farm is built with absolute efficiency. This means minimizing the time spent preparing the site, assembling cranes and travelling from pad to pad.

Before construction can begin, roads must be laid to allow transport of turbine components and heavy lifting equipment. As components increase in size, so must each crane and trailer – and therefore every road and hardstand on site. 

What’s more, as hubs grow higher fewer cranes are available locally to lift them - so developers turn to large crawler cranes that stand further from the tower. This also increases civil costs, as larger pads must be laid. 

The time taken to disassemble the crane and move to the next pad has always been crucial to a project’s success. But getting crawler cranes from turbine to turbine faster means building wide roads so they can travel independently - again increasing costs. 

Our engineers choose from the world’s largest fleet of heavy lifting equipment. By considering factors specific to each project such as inclines, permitting, clearance, distance and on-site obstacles, they formulate a mobilization strategy that drives down civil costs.  

Mammoet’s fleet of large tower cranes help developers to meet the 165m hub height challenges of today, while innovations such as the 

~/link/5809a912e53a4b638ae08ecc1e86da57.aspx">LTC4000 tower crane~/link/3d27b91e01e64b3b8e08d9dbceb7385c.aspx">WTA and WTM are supporting the industry towards a post-200m future.  

Whatever the site conditions, we help our customers to achieve a smooth, efficient production line.

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Mammoet engineers reduce civil costs by using SPMT transportation to relocate wide crawler crane.

Carlos Moreno, Global Segment Lead, Onshore Wind
Carlos Moreno, Global Segment Lead, Onshore Wind

“We are committed to producing innovative ideas to help our customers succeed and realize their plans. Going forward, I am convinced that reaching hub heights beyond 165m and installing much heavier components than today - and doing so cost-efficiently - will be key for the turbines being built over the next few years.”

Carlos Moreno, Global Segment Lead, Onshore Wind
Carlos Moreno, Global Segment Lead, Onshore Wind

Maximizing generation time

With over half a million units deployed globally and a lifespan of around 25 years, a new challenge is emerging: the maintenance of turbines. 

As suitable wind farm locations are used up, pressure will grow to maximize the yield from existing sites. This will be achieved by fitting upgraded components or installing entirely new turbines with higher generation capacities. 

This will cause competition to emerge between greenfield and brownfield sites for available lifting equipment. The continued growth of turbines will further limit the fleet that can take on this work. 

With over 40 depots located around the world, Mammoet is well-placed to serve any maintenance requirement - no matter how remote the location. But we are also committed to driving the industry forwards, innovating technologies and techniques that will allow developers to operate more efficiently. 

Mammoet is working closely with customers to develop climbing crane technologies that use the tower itself as a means of support to lift gearboxes, blades and other components. This will allow brownfield and greenfield work to coexist and allow much more work to take place simultaneously.   

All of which makes wind farm maintenance complete more quickly,increasing uptime while driving down costs.

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Mammoet’s crane fleet can support wind farm maintenance, across the globe. 

Till Ehlers, Branch Manager
Till Ehlers, Branch Manager

"With our existing crane and transport fleet we fulfill the requirements of our customers today. As turbines are increasing in weight, dimensions and hub height, Mammoet is constantly developing new technologies to serve our customers also in the future. Motivated professional people here in Mammoet will make sure that wind projects are executed in a safe, time saving and cost-effective way all over the globe."

Till Ehlers, Branch Manager
Till Ehlers, Branch Manager

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