By Andy Reay, A2SEA Regional Manager for the UK
These are busy times at A2SEA – and for many of our partners and competitors, too. That’s because we’re up to our ears in work needed to submit tenders for the UK ‘CFDs’ (Contracts for Difference). It’s also a process that stimulates long-term thinking and generates new insights into the industry’s current state and the years to come.
With this in mind, we’d like to highlight a couple of key differences we can see in wind farm projects today compared with just two or three years ago. And they are well worth a moment’s consideration.
By Jens Frederik Hansen, CEO, A2SEA A/S
Recently, we’ve seen quite a bit of discussion around the proposed Dogger Bank development – a man-made island to be constructed on the enormous shoal about 100 kms from the northeastern coast of England. There’s plenty of wind out there – and it’s relatively shallow. So locating a connecting base for electricity (up to 30 GW of it generated from offshore wind) to be shared among countries facing the North Sea is certainly an interesting idea. But is the idea as good as it seems?
By Michael Lau, Senior Operational Safety Manager, A2SEA
It’s commonly said that the only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys. So it may seem completely backwards to have a room of fully grown offshore wind people playing with tiny LEGO block models to help coordinate the installation of some of the biggest ‘toys’ in the world: offshore wind turbines. Strange, perhaps, but it’s clearly an innovative approach that, in its own small way, can contribute to lowering the levelised cost of energy (LCoE).
By Mette Jørvad
Director, Head of Communication & Marketing
Everyone likes to win. This year, it wasn’t quite our turn, although we did come a close second to the winners of Renewable UK’s Health & Safety Award 2017, the British energy company SSE, which is headquartered in Scotland. But instead of just blowing our own trumpet about being the still proud runner-up (we did make the announcement on our company website), we’d like to applaud the efforts of our offshore wind colleagues.
By Jens Frederik Hansen, CEO, A2SEA
Earlier this year, nine North Sea region countries signed an agreement aimed at building a more sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply through a much more ambitious level of cooperation. It appears there may be billions to be saved (according to European Commission studies) if we work together – and I’m certainly all for the idea. But what will the reality be? Can politicians, investors and the industry itself really deliver this potential upside by building electricity links, allowing more trading of energy and further integration of energy markets?
By Jens Nielsen, Director, Head of Procurement, A2SEA
We have now finalised two locally based mobilisations in the UK, representing a clear forward step in bringing projects and jobs to the region. So what has it been like to do this for the first time? And does it mean for the future?
By Andy Reay, A2SEA Regional Manager for the UK
The Humber may not be that long as rivers go (just 59 kilometres from one end to the other), but its lack of length isn’t about to stop it being one of the busiest spots in offshore wind energy next year. In fact, the area will be home to both operations & maintenance projects, as well as considerably more offshore construction, too.
Actually, the Humber isn’t a river at all. Situated on the east coast of northern England and flowing into the North Sea, it’s a tidal estuary formed where the River Trent and the River Ouse meet each other. In 2017, for the first time, A2SEA will be bringing two jack-up vessels to the area, kicking off two new projects that will see components being loaded out from Siemens’ new £160 million turbine blade manufacturing, project construction, assembly and service facility at Green Port Hull.
By Klaus Holm Nissen, Project Manager, A2SEA
SEA INSTALLER and her crew have just installed the eighteenth of 32 MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW turbines at Burbo Bank Extension. So far, we’ve made excellent progress, despite having to work with a lot of new, specialised lifting equipment for these large components. With the learning curves behind us, and if the weather continues to cooperate as nicely as it has to date, we expect to be finished mid to late December.
This is the first time we’ve installed a MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW turbine. Yet the task presents relatively few challenges for us. Perhaps the most difficult part of the project, seen from A2SEA’s point of view, is the sea bed in the area. With a lot of clay and sand, as well as some silt, it’s a tricky task to jack up securely. That kind of surface composition can be very sticky, which initially had us thinking we might have problems retracting the legs. But it didn’t turn out to be much of a problem. There were, of course, some extended pre-load periods in order for us to compress the soil sufficiently and make sure it was able to support the vessel – even in a storm.
By Hans Peter Johannsen, Vice President, Projects.
This is the third article in our series about reducing the LCoE in the offshore wind industry through optimising turbine loading, transport and installation.
A2SEA’s internal data supports wider industry observations that the cost of turbine installation per installed MW is, in fact, coming down. From our perspective (and remembering that turbine installation is a minor part of an wind farm’s overall development), there are gains to be made whenever we can load more megawatts at a time onto our vessels. This ability is strongly assisted by the increasing amount of power generated by larger turbines such as the MHI Vestas 8 MW. But that’s far from the full story.
By Kirsten Bank Christensen, Vice President, HSEQ at A2SEA A/S
Musculoskeletal injuries are an ever-present hazard in the offshore wind installation business. They’re defined as injuries that affect the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels and so on). And, while many have an obvious and immediate cause, such as a back injury caused by lifting a heavy object on an awkward angle, others may be ‘occupational illnesses’ – damages that creep up on a worker over many years. In any case, this is a serious issue that can have permanent and devastating consequences at both professional and personal levels.