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A new report from NSRI (National Subsea Research Initiative) has identified Operations & maintenance (O&M) – particularly inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) activities – as the highest potential area for subsea companies to diversify into offshore wind. Titled ‘Subsea Technological Challenges in Offshore Wind’, the report highlights opportunities the offshore wind industry holds for UK subsea companies, with a technology roadmap outlining the way ahead with industry-driven objectives.

Around 40 per cent of the typical lifecycle costs of offshore wind farm developments come from O&M requirements. Based on UK Government projections for offshore wind deployment, the O&M costs for more than 5,500 turbines could be worth GBP 2 billion per annum by 2025. Given the UK industry’s existing IRM capability, companies could break into the offshore wind market by offering individual services such as automated inspection, cable scour inspection, condition monitoring, remote monitoring, increased turbine access and risk based inspection. In time, these services could be bundled to deliver a full life-of-field offering. It’s also believed that diverless solutions will be of growing interest as offshore wind developments move further offshore into deeper waters. The report also highlights opportunities for operators, developers, academia and the wider industry to work together to break down barriers and bring about positive change.

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