Jackets Supporting Wind Turbines Off Coast Engineered in New Orleans
BATON ROUGE, LA Keystone Engineering's work on the first US offshore wind farm was highlighted in this recent article appearing in the Baton Rouge Business Report.
Metairie, Louisiana, -based Keystone Engineering handed off the Deepwater design documents to Gulf Island to begin the fabrication of the foundations, jackets and piles. A strong working relationship with Keystone was key to the project's successthe two companies have collaborated on dozens of projects for 30 years.
"Relationships such as ours are relatively common within the industry, where Keystone knows our pros and cons and strong suits, so to speak, and they are able to adapt the design to suit our facility," said Bill Blanchard, Vice President and General Manager of Gulf Island's fabrication group.
Throughout the design process, Keystone leaned heavily upon SACS Offshore Analysis and Design software for the design and loading analysis of the structures, while Gulf Island's Lee Barrios, Senior Project Manager, and Richard Rieve, Operations Manager, participated in early constructability sessions to iron out potential issues with meeting cost and deadline targets.
Designs differed somewhat from a typical oil or gas platform, primarily because of the load exerted by the force of the massive wind turbines. "Most platforms are designed to hold a static gravity load," Blanchard said. "Conversely, wind turbine foundations are designed to support a very long vertical stick that's swaying, with a lot of horizontal and cyclical moments applied to them. So, it takes a completely different jacket stiffening style."