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RISK MANAGEMENT


FEATURE SPONSOR


FLOATING OFFSHORE WIND FARMS WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL RISKS?


Floating offshore wind has the potential to allow vast deep water offshore areas to be unlocked for wind energy exploitation. At development stage and with global applications, it is an exciting time for the floating offshore wind market. However, to succeed commercially it is important to understand and manage possible risks, particularly by identifying and mitigating issues that are unprecedented in either the offshore wind or oil & gas industries. As in other offshore industries, the interrelated nature of risks requires an holistic understanding of impacts and mitigation.


Applying existing techniques in the floating offshore wind industry, where budgets may be tight, consistently over multiple installations, will require robust design, multiple verification and testing stages and a focus on quality assurance and management procedures.


LOCATION CRUCIAL


Understanding site conditions is crucial. Metocean and environmental parameters are paramount in the selection and design of the entire floating assembly, preventing standardisation and requiring a location specific development. Surveys provide location parameters and the quality of


may be able to be towed, which could allow chances to increase operations in a more controlled environment such as a construction harbour and reduce installation vessel requirements.


In contrast, available existing onshore infrastructure may need significant investment to accommodate the particular requirements of the floating support assembly, introducing feasibility and availability risks.


Floating structures may affect the nature of oscillations transferred to the nacelle, affecting blade position and angle of attack. Modelling these effects may require new energy yield techniques, affecting production and assessment certainty and increasing requirements on turbine control systems.


O & M


Operations and maintenance is


expected to represent a substantial


challenge, particularly when moving further offshore. Access, personnel and health and safety issues will all require careful management. Major maintenance and repair can be complicated by the dynamic nature of the assembly requiring upgraded vessels or techniques. However, the ability to tow


Some potential floating offshore wind structure and cable solutions are shown in the diagram, including three front running structure technologies; the Tension Leg Platform, Semi-Submersible and Spar foundations.


LACK OF INDUSTRY SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE


While many proposed techniques have been used in the oil and gas industry, a lack of industry peer reviewed standards and commercial track record may lead to risks throughout the project lifecycle.


returned and interpreted results can significantly reduce project design risk.


SUPPLY CHAIN RISKS


Supply chain risks relate to the market capability to provide the required materials or facilities for construction. The number of floating application manufacturers is limited and these companies may be required to take research and development risks and invest in new fabrication facilities and machinery for the market.


CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Installation will create new challenges but also opportunities as floating structures


certain structures to shore for maintenance may offer mitigation.


WELL WORTH THE EFFORT INVOLVED We envisage that large scale application of floating wind technology may lead to multiple risks, uncertainties and challenges. However, addressing these challenges may enable exploitation of vast deep water areas with better wind conditions, enhancing productivity with low social and environmental impact.


Caedmon Shayer and Alberto villar Mott MacDonald


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk 105


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