An offshore wind farm feeder solution by Rotterdam-based Barge Master offers an alternative method of wind farm installation - and gets around the US Jones Act, thereby opening up the US market.

Barge Master has come up with a ‘wind turbine feeder solution’, the BM Feeder, for which it has just received €7.5 million from the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam and existing shareholders.

Essentially it has developed a motion-compensated platform that keeps large turbine parts in balance so they can be craned to the installation vessel at sea, rather than the installation vessel going back and forth to shore each time it needs new parts. It can be attached to any existing installation vessel.

“In this way, the installation vessel can remain at sea and continue to install, while being continuously supplied with new components,” says Chantal Zeegers, alderman of Rotterdam for climate, building and living.

The technology has proved to be a hit with DEME, one of the world’s largest wind farm contractors, which is building the first large-scale commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.

Vineyard Wind 1 will generate 804MW once up and running, and four of Barge Master’s platforms will be needed to complete the work.

“Thanks to the capital injection, Barge Master can finance the construction of these machines, which can also be used for other offshore wind farms in the future,” the company says. 

Barge Master's wind farm feeder platform

Barge Master’s wind farm feeder platform