Cables are the achilles heel of the offshore wind industry; a majority of insurance claims are related to cable failures. Easy to break, hard to fix, as repairs always require an expensive repair vessel and spread.
In the event that an offshore wind farm loses one of its (typically) two export cables, the largest loss will be due to lost revenue, although the lost generation is probably less than 50% of potential output due to periods of low wind speeds, and also due to the fact that export cables can be specified to carry more than half of the wind farm capacity. Continue 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
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
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
After a decade of focus on installation, the industry is now turning its attention to operations and maintenance. Over the coming years, wind farm owners and turbine manufacturers will want to realise more from their investments by ensuring equipment runs efficiently for as long as possible.
So I was highly interested to read the Guide to UK Offshore Wind Operations and Maintenance, in which DNV GL (formerly GL Garrad Hassan) presents comprehensive insight into the O&M market for offshore wind in the UK.
This guide is an excellent piece of work and highly recommended reading. We can thank Scottish Enterprise and The Crown Estate for commissioning this study. I spoke to Oscar Fitch-Roy, one of DNV GL’s authors of the guide, to learn more about what they wanted to achieve with it.