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
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