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Holcim US and ECOncrete deploy ecological concrete scour protection for offshore wind

Published by
World Cement,


Successful deployment of the novel Droplock Ecological Scour Protection is completed 12 miles off the shore of Long Island, NY in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Approximately 4,000 concrete units were manufactured earlier in August in New York.

  • First and only structural solution to benefit both foundation resiliency and local marine ecosystem.
  • Over 1000 t of bio-enhancing Droplock and rock-material for scour protection - off Long Island, NY at a depth of more than 100ft.
  • Two-year ecological monitoring to set new standards in responsible marine construction.

The two-year joint R&D project to provide offshore wind projects with ecological scour protection began in May 2021 and is funded by the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy Foundation with the participation of the US Department of Energy. The project partners are ECOncrete Tech Ltd., global provider for bio-enhancing concrete technology, and Holcim US, the country’s leading cement producer. Together, they are redefining offshore scour protection through the development of a novel concrete unit that requires up to 30% less material, minimises native habitat degradation, and supports ecological uplift in offshore wind projects.

“The unit’s ecological properties mimic natural marine habitats’ features while providing the armoring functionality required for scour protection”, said Dr. Ido Sella, CEO and Co-Founder at ECOncrete Tech. “Offshore wind projects that integrate nature inclusive technologies are able to gain ecosystem services not achievable before. The ecological uplift and long-term functionality of ecologically sensitive solutions can mitigate some of the associated impacts of offshore infrastructure. The ecological performance will be verified through comprehensive scientific monitoring comparing the bio-enhanced system to the standard rock-based scour protection to set new industry standards for responsible construction.”

Carl LoBue, Ocean Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in NY said, “This deployment of materials is exciting and timely. The Nature Conservancy believes there is great potential in intentionally designing and constructing materials used in offshore wind energy development in ways that are intended to create habitat for fish and other marine life.” ECOncrete bio-enhancing technology is proven to benefit biodiversity and water quality due to the development of healthy marine ecosystems. The units’ properties and design facilitate the settlement of calcifying organisms, creating an active carbon sink that absorbs CO2 throughout a structure’s lifespan.

“Renewable energy from wind is a critical part of building a more sustainable world and our Net Zero commitments. We also recognise wind generation needs to be built in a way that minimises the ecological and environmental impacts," said Michael LeMonds, VP, Environment, Land & Public Affairs at Holcim US. “Meeting our renewable energy goals together with ECOncrete Tech shows how an innovative approach using well-established building materials can protect natural habitats and help them flourish."

This project provides the first and only structural solution that benefits both foundation resiliency and the local marine ecosystem. In a recent technical report, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recommended ECOncrete’s nature-based design for cable protection and scour protection. ECOncrete technology is also featured in the Wind Energy Monitoring & Mitigation Technologies Tool developed by the International Energy Agency Wind Task 34 (WREN), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as in the Dutch government nature inclusive design catalog for offshore wind infrastructure. The ECOncrete and Holcim partnership aims to ensure that offshore wind reaches its maximum potential to generate clean energy without compromising the health of the environment.

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/01112022/holcim-us-and-econcrete-deploy-ecological-concrete-scour-protection-for-offshore-wind/

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