Jonathan Morton in ‘Troubled Waters? – Managing Risk in Floating Offshore Wind’

May 18, 2022

Jonathan Morton, an associate in the Shipping and Energy practice groups, authored an article in Read more below:

The embrace of floating offshore wind has come surprisingly fast. There is already talk of floating wind sites with more than 100 turbines being built by 2032, and the interest and investment in the industry has rapidly globalised.


The path for the industry over the next ten years is therefore steep, potentially perilously so, and the risks are high.


While many of these risks are similar to those for fixed bottom wind projects, there are unique challenges for floating projects in respect of warranties and guarantees; operation and maintenance; and delay and disruption in particular which will need to be considered carefully.


Warranties and Guarantees


Floating offshore structures are constantly moving, every minute of every day for their entire lifespan, and are exposed to continual impact from waves and weather.


How the floating substructure performs over time and in variable conditions could dramatically affect the performance of the turbine, which is a very different scenario to that of a fixed monopile.


In light of the new and untested nature of the designs, this presents a unique and hard to predict risk profile.


The problem is compounded by the fact that such floating structures will require the use of dynamic cables which are designed to withstand this movement, and the fatiguing effects of such movement on those cables remains unknown.


The risk of cable failure is accordingly higher for floating offshore wind than fixed bottom, and the consequences of failures which could occur for multiple units could be substantial and complex to resolve.

Excerpted from
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