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The emerging floating offshore wind industry needs to proactively address potential hazards to prepare for future large-scale deployment, according to a new report released by the G+ health and safety organisation.
Supported by ERM’s The Renewables Consulting Group, Tadek, and European Marine Energy Centre, the G+ Floating Offshore Wind Hazard Identification (HAZID) report identifies specific risks associated with a typical commercial-scale floating wind farm and recommends best safety practices and tools for its members and the broader offshore wind industry.
To evaluate critical areas and potential bottlenecks for a commercial-scale floating wind farm, the study assumed a wind farm of circa 50 semi-submersible platforms with 15 MW wind turbine generators (WTG). In collaboration with the industry, risk items were identified for the three periods of operations during a typical floating offshore wind project lifecycle.
Notably, the study highlighted key gaps in current industry guidance for constructing and operating floating offshore wind projects. These include the risk of the technology being deployed in markets with no offshore experience and regulatory frameworks.
The report's authors caution that the relatively small-scale FOW deployment to date has meant that, where there are FOW specific requirements, they mostly focus on design considerations (such as structural requirements) rather than occupational Health and Safety (H&S).
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