New ships and equipment are needed to install the larger turbines and foundations faster and at higher sea states. Existing and new foundation types can be installed faster, resulting in a lower environmental impact e.g. piling can be reduced. The connection of cables on foundation/wind turbines and the offshore substation remains a challenge. Cables must be installed and buried more effectively. A good infrastructure for logistics contributes to cost reduction. This may include modification or construction of ports onshore or offshore.
At the moment, there is still no experience with decommissioning large offshore wind farms. In the near future, equipment and methodologies are needed for these decommissioning activities. It is crucial to align the equipment, infrastructure and methodologies for installation and decommissioning.
The R&D Activities
- New specialised ships and equipment for installation, O&M and decommissioning. For example ships for transporting complete wind turbines, for new foundation techniques such as drilling, and ships that perform faster and at higher sea states.
- Improved installation methods; for example aimed at faster piling, noise mitigation, alternative installation methods (drilling, vibrating), improving scour protection solutions and improved removal.
- Research into decommissioning, aimed at risk reduction and cost reduction.
- More reliable and better methods of the burying (or drilling) and connecting the cables, and end-of-life decommissioning.
- Improve the interfaces between components that are installed offshore.
- Research into better infrastructure (incl. ports, clustering) and the supply chain, particularly for the roll-out on a larger scale and greater distances to the coast.