Wind power & renewables
Mammoet’s unrivalled heavy lifting and transport expertise optimizes wind and renewables projects, bringing deadlines forward and reducing the cost per megawatt.
Mammoet’s unrivalled heavy lifting and transport expertise optimizes wind and renewables projects, bringing deadlines forward and reducing the cost per megawatt.
In a few short decades wind power has gone from being an experimental alternative to burning fossil fuel, to a mature industry. Wind farms around the world are providing hundreds of millions of homes with power and helping drive a reduction in carbon emissions. Wind power is now competing successfully in the world energy market due to the industry’s constant search for efficiencies. As the industry develops for the future, the focus is on installing large numbers of wind turbines, at greater scales, to generate electricity in the most efficient way. Developers seeking to generate the greatest possible return on investment frequently have to overcome operational barriers and obstacles. Logistical issues, such as remote locations where civil works are necessary simply to access the site. Or difficult installation conditions – the windy locations that make ideal sites for wind farms may present limited weather windows in which construction can take place.
That’s where Mammoet comes in. Cutting down on construction time and getting power to the grid fast are both essential steps before generating revenue for onshore wind farms can begin. By optimizing supply-chain and installation logistics, we help our clients to begin maximizing their investment returns as quickly as possible. We provide our customers with full planning, logistics and installation services. We have extensive experience in transporting components from the turbine manufacturer’s factory to the foundations on-site. Mammoet’s heavy lifting experts routinely install towers, turbines and rotor blades on-site, using our specialized equipment and expertise to bring wind farms onto the grid as efficiently and safely as possible.
As an industry, wind power has many of its own practicalities that set it apart from other methods of generating power. Although Mammoet can draw on many decades of experience supporting clients in nuclear, fossil fuel and renewables, our heavy lifting and transport professionals have been providing specialized services to the wind power sector since its earliest days. We have built up planning, logistics and construction expertise in onshore, near-shore and offshore wind farm installation. We have experience in transporting the biggest turbine components, and we work closely with the industry to find ways to optimize wind farm construction processes.
Mammoet’s global pool of specialized equipment and skilled professionals regularly lift, load, transport and install specific wind farm components. Nacelles that weigh over 130 tons, and blades exceeding 80 meters in length, are safely and cost effectively brought to site and installed using our experience, gained over decades building wind farms around the world. But it’s not all about size. The unique aspect of our service comes through how we can save you time. From the earliest stages of wind farm planning, through logistics and construction, Mammoet takes an integrated view of the heavy lifting and transport requirements of each project. In doing so, we can provide full logistics and installation services that optimize the supply chain and shorten the critical path .
Our experienced teams and specialized equipment optimize schedules and reduce your costs, helping wind farm projects complete on schedule – or in some cases ahead of schedule. Above all, we deliver our services with the highest safety and environmental protection standards. The result is that the turbines begin generating clean energy for the electricity grid, and revenues for your bottom line, as quickly as possible.
Mammoet works with clients at the cutting edge of developments in the wind power industry. When the world’s first high capacity floating offshore wind farm became operational off the coast of Scotland late in 2017, it was Mammoet that had facilitated the transport and lifting of its towers, rotor blades and nacelle units from fabrication in Norway to the site. We are continually innovating our own equipment, developing new specialized cranes for wind turbine assembly and wind turbine maintenance. We are exploring, with our clients, the opportunity to generate power at deep-sea offshore locations without requiring fixed tower foundations. As the wind energy industry looks to build on its competitiveness through increasing economies of scale and seeking out new locations, Mammoet is working alongside our clients to realize the most cost-effective and streamlined project delivery.
The goal of any major wind farm development is to produce competitively priced energy, and today these facilities are providing power to increasing numbers of homes and businesses. Generating power at the lowest cost per kilowatt-hour is what investors in the industry are looking for, and across each new project operators are looking for efficiencies. One result of this competitive drive is constant improvement and economizing in the design of wind turbine generators. The scale of these generators has doubled in the current decade and rotor blades, nacelles and tower sections are getting bigger and bigger.
Involving Mammoet’s engineered heavy lifting and transport specialists at the earliest possible stages in the design of a new wind power development is another way of enhancing project efficiency. With decades of experience in the wind power sector, we are able to identify opportunities for optimization, using creative engineering and our expertise in lifting and transport to design smoother logistical and construction processes.
The increase in component size within the industry has had a major impact on the heavy lifting, loading, transportation and installation of wind turbines. Before fabrication of the components has even begun, our engineers can advise on their design, ensuring that anchor points on the objects are compatible with the frames and transportation methods used to move them. These oversized and heavy parts often push the limits of domestic road transport. With Mammoet’s abnormal load expertise we can help clients find the most suitable logistic route, overcoming bottlenecks and complying with local highway regulations, while finding major efficiencies by assessing alternative routes. Our input on component design can also prove invaluable at later stages in a project’s life, such as during maintenance and upgrade operations.
Large-scale wind power developments can involve the lifting and transport of hundreds, if not thousands, of large and heavy items. Early planning with Mammoet’s experts delivers on-site optimization for wind farm projects. By helping clients define the heavy lifting, loading, storage and installation areas well in advance of the operation, we are able to optimize the execution plans, ensuring sufficient ground stabilization, space for equipment assembly and access to installation points while maximizing utilization of our specialized equipment. Detailed planning of the site and chain of activities prior to operation also enhances site safety. Mammoet’s early involvement will mean we can help you deal more effectively with any logistical barriers for onshore, nearshore and offshore wind power projects.
Optimization of wind farm projects with detailed planning ultimately brings down costs and improves business cases. Early involvement from our skilled professionals can shorten the critical path of a project by weeks or even months, depending on its scale, bringing renewable power to the grid more quickly and efficiently. After completion, the cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity can be further reduced by consulting with Mammoet’s professionals for optimization of operations to replace components, maintenance services and upgrading or expansion of wind farms.
Mammoet has an unparalleled level of expertise in the wind energy industry, having been involved in the engineering, lifting, transport and installation of more than 9,000 turbines around the world. From the earliest wind projects, we have transported, erected and installed turbines for all kinds of on- and offshore projects, from a single prototype to large-scale wind farms and under many different conditions.
We support our clients by helping them optimize the planning design of wind turbine components to push the boundaries for scaling components for transportation and installation. By unlocking new possibilities, we have broken various records, such as transporting and installing the highest tower section, the heaviest nacelle and the longest rotor blades. These components have helped to increase efficiency and reduce cost per megawatt.
Mammoet has the expertise, global coverage and extensive fleet of equipment required to offer full factory-to-foundation services. This integrated approach helps to reduce or mitigate risks in the transportation and installation of oversized and heavy wind turbine components, which are always on the critical path of the project. In many cases, our integrated approach has allowed us to install more turbines in less time than originally estimated by the client.
Our skilled engineers and specialized equipment help us to safely stretch the limits of weather windows for installation. We have also developed systems such as Enviro-Mat to reduce the costs of civil works for onshore wind farms. Such innovations are becoming increasingly important to maximize efficiency in a highly competitive environment.
Henrik Poulsen has 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in the global market, particularly in the wind industry, including time as Mammoet’s SHE-Q Director for Wind. Henrik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Mammoet’s Wind division and business.
The ever-increasing scale of turbine components brings unique challenges for wind farm constructors and operators. Suitable locations for turbines are not necessarily where local infrastructure can accommodate the passage of large and heavy components. This combines with the windy conditions essential for high yields but that can limit time windows for installation work. Furthermore, the nature of wind farms, with their coverage of turbines across vast areas, leads to spread out installation and maintenance areas. As a result, for onshore, near shore or offshore wind facilities, optimization of project logistics can become essential for a cost-effective operation.
For onshore wind farms, there is the challenge of overland transport of large and heavy tower sections, nacelles, generators and rotor blades from the original manufacturing facilities all the way to site for installation. These are often at remote locations making the route analysis crucial. In hilly areas, steep inclines may determine the requirement of specific transport equipment and additional securing of loads. Many wind farm locations may require significant civil works to build access roads and installation pads, which can prove time-consuming and costly. Mammoet can help reduce these costs by optimizing routes through extensive transport studies and the creation of an integrated logistics plan.
The construction of nearshore and offshore wind farms combines the installation of increasingly large and heavy components with the high costs of offshore installation. Additionally, this environment has important safety considerations. Mammoet’s focus on a safe logistical operation, alongside our specialized engineering capabilities, enables us to find the right approach for every offshore facility. This has included the world’s first floating wind farm and the transport of both the heaviest tower sections and the longest rotor blades ever deployed, using customized frames for their safe and secure transport.
To keep costs under control the logistical chain needs to ensure maximum utilization of offshore installation vessels. Different components need to be collected, stored, loaded and transported for installation at sea. Combining these activities and creating efficient component packages means construction time and costs can be significantly reduced.
With a history dating back over 200 years, and extensive experience in heavy lifting and transport across energy sectors and around the globe, Mammoet has built up a logistical knowledge bank that is second to none. All of this know-how, paired with our experience of the practicalities of moving and erecting some of the world’s largest wind turbine generators, means that we have all the core competencies required to carry out logistical work on wind farm projects large and small.
Mammoet’s heavy lifting and transport engineers begin any move by making a detailed logistical plan. Factors include the size and weight of the components being hauled, equipment required, interfaces between modes of transport, border crossings and the set-down point at destination. Route planning will be carried out and potential bottlenecks and contingencies planned for, with safety a key consideration throughout.
Our service stretches from fabrication site to the wind turbine generator’s foundations in an efficient, optimized and unbroken logistics chain. The complexities of moving large and heavy items are managed with specialist skill and insight, and we are able to tailor solutions for onshore, shallow nearshore and deep-sea offshore development. From installing turbines at the top of steep hills through to barging their components to new locations on the high seas, Mammoet’s competency in the wind sector helps operators reduce installation costs, bring turbines into production on time, and lower their cost per kilowatt-hour.
To benefit from greater power output, new wind farm installations are deploying hardware that is larger than ever before. However, as components increase in size and weight, and as wind farms are installed in more remote regions of the planet, their operators face increasing construction challenges. Windy conditions and inclement weather on site, the risks of operations at sea, and the limitations of local roads and bridges are just a few of the considerations faced by new wind farm projects.
Specialized heavy lifting and transport equipment and skilled teams, capable of transporting and installing new wind turbine generators, are essential requirements for realizing a safe and efficient construction process. With the latest high mega-wattage nacelles, tower sections weighing over 200 tons, and rotor blades approaching 100 meters in length, specialized cranes and trailer equipment are standard requirements for wind farm construction. However, assembling the necessary equipment is only part of the formula. With core competencies in planning, logistics and engineering – as well as extensive experience in wind farm construction techniques – Mammoet supports wind farm clients by managing all the heavy lifting and transport requirements.
Many wind power construction projects involve different contractors for shipping, onshore transport, crane operations and mechanical and electrical installation. Outsourcing to different contractors and subcontractors means a complex supply chain for the wind farm operator. It leads to communication difficulties and can compromise site safety. Optimizing the scope of their various tasks and schedules is complex and requires management time. Failure to do so can result in delays and cost overruns.
By taking advantage of Mammoet’s integrated approach, wind farm construction projects benefit from greater efficiency across all heavy lifting and transport requirements. A single point of contact and coordination streamlines communication and allows for the alignment of activities and installation schedules — maximizing efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness — potentially saving time across the construction process.
At remote offshore construction sites, strong winds and weather conditions can limit time windows for installation. Working on or near water requires specific engineering skills, equipment and an uncompromising approach to safety. Equally, safety is at the top of our agenda when supporting near shore and onshore wind farm projects, which have their own specific challenges. Mammoet provides well-prepared, highly skilled installation teams, supported by state-of-the-art equipment to realize the most efficient installation processes and minimize risks.
Working with wind farm operators since the early days of the wind industry, Mammoet is familiar with the latest construction processes and well-versed in operating in the conditions affecting onshore, near shore and offshore wind farms. Clients in the sector rely on us to take care of all the variables involved in the lifting, loading and transport of components. The development of floating offshore wind turbines, as opposed to structures fixed to monopiles or jacketed foundations, will soon enable the construction of wind farms in deeper waters so that more areas around the world can benefit from wind energy. Mammoet assisted in the construction of the world’s first operational high-capacity floating offshore wind project, and is at the forefront of new construction developments.
For our customers in the wind power sector this means the continued delivery of shortened timelines, logistical and construction efficiencies, as well as the highest standards of safety on projects now and in the future. With Mammoet’s integrated approach to wind farm construction, turbines become operational on or ahead of schedule, delivering sustainable energy to consumers while ensuring lower costs for producers.
Since the first megawatt wind turbine generator was developed in 1978, wind power has grown to become an important contributor to the energy sector. It is now a global industry, with over 350,000 wind turbine generators in operation today. Wind farm operators continue to drive ahead with new construction at an unprecedented pace. Alongside this, the industry is maturing and is broadening its focus. Wind farms that have been in operation for 15 or 20 years remain essential generators of supply around the world, but require scheduled maintenance and efficiently executed change-outs in order to minimize downtime.
The engineered heavy lifting and transport services of a specialist partner like Mammoet play a vital role in maintenance activities, such as the scheduled or unscheduled exchange of main components. We have been involved in the construction of wind turbines since the earliest days of the industry, and our professionals have built up an in-depth understanding of how wind turbine generators are transported and installed. Today, Mammoet is working with leading operators around the world using our heavy lifting expertise to efficiently and safely execute wind farm maintenance activities.
Greater efficiency can be achieved through sharing of trained heavy lifting personnel and specialized equipment across several wind farm sites. This makes maintenance agreements cost-effective and also gives clients peace of mind, knowing that Mammoet is ready and prepared to deal with the unexpected – such as the rapid exchange of broken turbines, rotor blades or gearboxes.
Renewing generator equipment when its working lifecycle ends is a cost-effective way of maximizing investment in wind power. Heavy lifting and transport specialists can help develop and execute the safest, most efficient and cost-effective upgrade projects – either by exchanging older components for newer and more efficient models, or by replacing entire wind turbines from the ground up. With experienced engineers and specialized equipment on hand, Mammoet continually finds ways to shorten schedules and maximize wind farm uptime.
Once a new wind farm is up and running, investors may wish to expand the facility, increasing power output and maximizing the area’s wind potential to optimize their return on investment. As the industry seeks greater economies of scale, new generators are added to existing wind farms and the wind turbine generators themselves are built from increasingly large components. A partner like Mammoet is essential for efficient expansions, both in terms of transporting components with a specialized fleet of equipment, and the installation experience of our teams. Mammoet has optimized the process for some of the world’s largest wind farm expansions, and has set world records by moving the longest rotor blades and the heaviest tower sections.
In onshore settings, expansions have been carried out in some extremely remote locations, where challenges have included the unpredictable climate, narrow roads, steep inclines and local environmental protection measures. In near shore and offshore settings, the inherent challenges of working on water and the sheer size of the components makes specialized heavy lifting equipment and transport expertise essential. Mammoet’s experience dates back to the very start of the wind power industry and we have worked with our clients, as the industry has evolved, to optimize upgrade processes, safely carrying out expansions on schedule, within budget, so our clients can maintain efficient output.
If the wind is blowing, wind turbine generators can supply energy 24/7. Though Mammoet can’t control the wind, we do have the necessary expertise, experience and equipment to help clients in the wind energy sector maximize the uptime of their installations by supporting all their maintenance and upgrade needs.
Renewable energy projects include a mix of both established and fast-developing technologies. These include hydroelectricity, wind power, tidal energy, wave energy and concentrated solar power. Each system has its own unique construction challenges and opportunities to increase the efficiency and overall cost-effectiveness of a project by planning for scale and modularization. Reducing construction and installation time shortens time to market, bringing sustainable power sources online more swiftly and bringing forward returns on investment.
For newer or less established forms of renewable technology, proving the potential of the design helps attract investment –taking projects to the next level. After proof of concept, the design needs to be adapted for large-scale applications. In many renewable power plant projects, large and heavy items including turbines, generators or entire pre-assembled structures housing all components are installed. Because new power generation technologies are involved, operations often take place in unusual circumstances with unique challenges. For example, during one recent state-of-the-art tidal power project off the coast of the Netherlands, engineers had a 90-minute window on a specific day in September in which to slide a 50-meter long tidal turbine structure into place — while safely managing the impacts of tides, currents, wind and season.
Mammoet’s skilled heavy lifting and transport engineers can unlock opportunities for efficiency right from the start. Our creative engineering and precision planning optimize the transport and installation of renewable facilities, and their components, while minimizing risks, costs and construction time for our client. Mammoet has built strong partnerships in the renewable energy sector. No matter what kind of challenges are posed by renewable technologies, collaborating early in a project helps move deadlines forward, reducing costs and ensuring an overall safe, smooth and on-time execution of the project.
Hydropower is nearly as widely used as wind-generated power but the location of the hydroelectric power plants often poses the most complicated challenges for heavy lifting and transport operations. In many instances, large and heavy components such as water turbines, generators and transformers, need to be transported down steep and narrow tunnels to reach the powerhouse and, once inside, space for maneuvering and installing is often highly restricted.
Careful planning and flawless execution skills are of great importance to ensure components are delivered and installed underground safely and on time, thus speeding up time-to-market of the renewable power plant.
Tidal and wave power are forms of hydropower that are still in the early stages of development but the technology is advancing rapidly. Each type of design has its unique specifications and requirements for installation.
Early involvement of our specialized engineers and planning team is crucial to develop and execute a safe, efficient and cost-effective logistics plan that takes into account environmental conditions such as strong currents and rough weather. During execution, our team brings all their ingenuity and the right toolbox of equipment to the project so that they can respond effectively to any unforeseen events that could disrupt the critical path.
Solar power is another fast-developing form of renewable energy with interesting opportunities for increasing yields and reducing costs through scale. Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants use molten salt technology, which can operate alone or as part of an integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) power plant. To increase efficiency and harvest more energy, large mirror arrays are used to reflect and concentrate sunbeams onto the receiver unit. Both the mirrors and receiver units are growing bigger and heavier, requiring lifting expertise for safe installation at increasing heights. Strong winds at these heights can seriously jeopardize safety, limit productivity and negatively impact the schedule.
Investing time at the early planning and design stages means that we can help develop the most efficient construction approach, which could range from stick-built on location to lifting the preassembled receiver unit into place. Everything we undertake at Mammoet is always focused on how we can increase the safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the entire project for our client.