In a first for the offshore wind sector, a vessel remotely controlled from shore has successfully completed survey work for Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables and innogy
The XO-450 unmanned surface vessel (USV), owned and operated by Ireland-based XOCEAN, carried out seabed surveys on seven of the turbines at the 140-turbine windfarm, located 23 km off the UK coast. The unmanned vessel is 4.5 m long and can be monitored and controlled via a satellite connection by a team at an onshore control centre.
Throughout the survey, the data collected was monitored from shore in real-time in the UK, to validate data collection before the vessel departed its work location.
XOCEAN said its USVs offer significant benefits, including greater safety, with operators remaining onshore; efficiency, with 24/7 operations possible; and environmental benefits in the form of ultra-low emissions. Together this leads to significant cost savings.
SSE Renewables head of operations Jeremy Williamson said, “We are constantly looking for innovative ways in which we can operate our fleet of renewables assets.
“XOCEAN’s USV will allow us to carry out our work in a more efficiently, and most importantly, in the safest way possible. We’re really interested to see how this sort of technology can help improve our industry and look forward to working with XOCEAN in future.”
XOCEAN chief executive James Ives said, “Our USV demonstrated that it is safe and reliable and a low-carbon solution for the collection of data. We are delighted to be working with SSE and innogy on this ground-breaking project.”
Riviera’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference will explore the opportunities available in the sector on a regional basis, review the latest industry trends and drivers and the technology advances enabling the move to deeper waters on 4 February 2020 in London. Book your ticket now