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World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO) published its white paper onsite major component replacement technologies for floating offshore wind. The offshore wind installation and maintenance market is changing to keep up with the progress of the industry.
Bigger turbines, more distant wind farm sites and floating foundations require new equipment and approaches. Given available technology, tow-to-port is treated as the base for floating wind heavy maintenance. However, this may not be a feasible approach for certain commercial-scale floating wind projects, which is why new solutions for onsite maintenance are emerging.
The paper creates a high-level comparative assessment between two main assigned crane families: add-on cranes and vessel cranes. Within the former, there is a further distinction between tower-based add-on cranes and platform-based add-on cranes. These solutions have the potential to reduce repair time and downtime as well as eliminate the need for disconnection of the FOWT; however, technology track record, cost and overarching floating wind market uncertainties are key challenges for new technologies to reach the market in the next decade. At the moment, heavy maintenance concept providers are making strategic decisions based on stakeholder priorities, which are discussed in the White Paper.
The findings from this work feed into the wider discussions of WFO’s Floating Offshore Wind Committee (FOWC), where the insurability and bankability perspective reflects on the challenges of floating wind and the new technologies that aim to solve them. These cross2 discipline conversations remind us of the need to balance cost reductions and safety measures to preserve the risk perception of floating wind technologies, especially for the first commercial-scale projects.
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