Please find the latest issue of the The Prospector magazine with particular focus on the ZITON brand and the reasoning behind the name change. The magazine also includes articles on East Anglia One and the new SOV concept delivered to Siemens Wind Power. Happy reading.
The offshore wind industry has paid little attention to outage time. This claim is made by MAKE Consulting in a recently released report about offshore wind O&M in Northern Europe.
The report describes that turbines are becoming larger, with the current average of 3.9 MW expected to increase to 5.9 MW by 2020. But this means that losses associated with downtime will become even more costly, particularly from failure of major components. As a result, service providers are forced to implement strategies to reduce downtime from major component failures. Continue reading →
In what could signify a crossroads for the offshore wind industry, E.ON has internalised the O&M of offshore wind turbines at Scroby Sands. I spoke recently with Scroby Sands’ Operations Manager Keith Cooke about it, who told me the warranty period for these turbines was coming to an end, and instead of renewing the warranty, they decided to take on the maintenance themselves.
Of course, there are implications of taking on maintenance in this way. There’s a lot to learn and we, as O&M partners to the offshore wind industry, can provide a lot of value and have an important role to play. Continue reading →
Establishing a safe foundation is a vital part of jack-up operations. The jack-up vessel needs to be supported by an absolutely solid foundation during the entire jack-up operation at any given site. As the vessel is jacked up, the weight is carried by the legs and onto the seabed. The seabed must be able to provide the necessary support. If it doesn’t, there is potential for disaster.
There is always some risk, even if extremely slight, associated with this and it’s important to take all the necessary steps to mitigate these risks. Continue reading →
The Crown Estate has recently released its report focusing on how jack-up vessels can help bring down costs in the maintenance of offshore wind turbines.
The report, ‘Jack-up vessel optimisation’, studies the significant potential in cost reduction through sharing arrangements and closer cooperation between windfarm owners.
The report can be downloaded from Crown Estate’s website.
It points to evidence of significant production downtime due to maintenance planning and implementation and claims that revenues could be increased by as much as GBP 110 million across currently operational windfarms in the UK.
Even though the report is based on the UK offshore wind market, it is valuable reading for the industry as a whole, particularly within a wider European perspective.
I was very interested to see the three specific recommendations for progressing the concept of a ‘flexible charter club’.
This report also sheds new light on some of the findings in an O&M report commissioned by this site, Offshore Wind O&M, in particular related to the sometimes insurmountable costs of emergency repairs to single wind turbines.
Operations and maintenance in offshore wind is still an underdeveloped market and this report makes a welcome contribution to improving the market’s understanding of the key issues. This is something I have spoken about before and I’m pleased to see the increasing focus on the issue.
Why are there fewer work accidents within teams of people who have worked together for a long time? They might not have documented safety procedures that are consciously followed to the letter, but they seem to have an inherent understanding of what it takes to work together as a team. Whether they’re aware of it or not, people in such groups have all been part of creating a group culture – and a cornerstone of this culture is safety.
Safety is of paramount importance in the offshore wind energy sector. Everyone talks about it and many claim sufficient understanding of safety requirements. But, unfortunately, I believe there are several misconceptions about what this means. Continue reading →
To reduce the costs of wind energy generated by offshore wind parks, there needs to be a greater degree of ‘certainty’ in the offshore wind industry. What I mean by this is a commitment to contracts and agreements that allow the necessary investments throughout the supply chain.
A lack of certainty makes it difficult to reach the cost reduction goals that everyone in the industry is looking for. Continue reading →
The dynamic environment caused by wind and tides at sea is one of the biggest challenges when replacing components on an offshore wind turbine. The operation requires great precision and full control, and this is often at odds with the prevailing conditions.
In 2003, Dong Energy operated 200MW of wind projects offshore. Ten years on, its operating capacity has grown tenfold. The utility is now using its experience to develop maintenance processes that are setting the standard for the current round of projects.
The offshore wind industry is a paradox. Like the bumblebee flying, it should not work, but it does, says Lars Thanning Pedersen, head of asset management and markets in wind power at Danish utility Dong Energy. “If you saw a list of everything that could go wrong, you wouldn’t have started. But you solve problems as you go along, and we are now at the point where we can say that we can achieve a reliability of production that is close to onshore, albeit at a higher cost,” he says. Continue reading →
Dynamic positioning systems offer many advantages over manual positioning systems. The automated system minimises the risk of error, allowing operations and maintenance vessels to be carefully and safely positioned alongside offshore wind turbines.