An emerging trend for new wind farm developments to be larger in scale and further from shore – such as the consented Beatrice and Moray Firth developments – is triggering a new approach to operations and maintenance.
To meet this emerging market demand, the Fred Olsen group has designed its ‘Windbase’ offshore flotel and operations concept.
It is a fixed offshore facility offering a marine service centre, offshore accommodation and heliport in a flexible configuration enabling developers to reduce operating costs for the next generation of wind farms built further from shore.
David Matthews, Project Director, said that by marrying established technologies and services from within the Fred. Olsen related companies, they can create a fixed offshore facility tailored to developer needs.
“We’ve seen floating solutions and even man-made islands proposed for projects located far from shore, but we can see Scotland is in a key position to be an early adopter of this concept – which is one we believe will be replicated across Europe,” Matthews said.
“This new concept offers three key advantages namely, business case certainty, the use of established technologies and partnership with an experienced supplier in offshore marine contracting.”
“The beauty of this new approach lies in the fact that it offers a through-life capability, deployed very early in the construction phase for installation and commissioning, and remaining onsite until the project is re-powered or decommissioned.
“I’m sure that through use it will evolve over time, with year on year efficiency gains further reducing O&M costs.”
An investment decision on the first full-scale version is expected in the first half of this year.