Recent figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in their 2020 Electricity Generation Costs report puts the average cost for O&M for a 1,000MW offshore wind farm at £50m per annum including fixed and variable costs. The UK's target for offshore wind by 2030 is 40GW in total and this would then make the O&M market worth approximately £2bn in the UK by that date..
The 2050 forecast of the offshore wind market in the UK is now in the order of 100GW, if we are to achieve the UK's Net Zero target, and while O&M costs are forecast to reach £35.5m per GW by this date it would still mean that the market will be worth in excess of £4bn per annum.
This is now the lower end of the market estimate for 2050 as it does not factor in any future offshore wind projects dedicated to the production of hydrogen which is a subsector expected to emerge at scale within the next 5 years.
Image - MHI Vestas
Innovation in O&M Strategies
The future years of the O&M market will be dominated by the pressure to reach this £35.5m per GW level and the general road to cost reduction for the offshore wind sector will involve larger turbine capacities, longer blade lengths and be further offshore. While these will reduce overall CAPEX costs they will add to issues already being seen in the industry with leading edge blade erosion, damage due to higher tip speeds, longer vessel journeys and shorter weather access windows. Better material technology will assist to alleviate some of the problems but it will fall on the supply chain to come up with the innovation across all these areas which will be necessary to keep future cost reduction strategies on track.
Our O&M subgroup members represent almost every facet of the offshore wind operation and maintenance supply chain and will be involved in developing and delivering the innovation required by the industry, not just in the UK, but globally.
Image - Iberdrola
Operation and Maintenance Bases
With over 25 ports and harbours members in the cluster O&M bases are an opportunity area that has a great deal of relevance for these members. Developers are already signing 25 years leases to place their O&M bases in ports and harbours near to their wind farm sites and are creating the opportunity for new jobs in many of the communities surrounding these sites. Our work with ESP, Skills Development Scotland and the local college network is trying to ensure that local people can be offered the ability to gain the skills necessary to become turbine technicians, vessel crew, drone pilots and many of the other roles required to operate and maintain the offshore wind farms.
Refurbished or new facilities will be springing up at many of our smaller ports sites such as those that already exist at Wick Harbour or are currently under construction at Fraserburgh and Montrose. As other new wind farms appear in the far north or on the West Coast then many more such bases will be needed by the offshore wind industry.
Image- Moray East - Artist's impression of the new O&M base at Fraserburgh Harbour
Besides the offshore wind farms themselves there is the related electrical power infrastructure to be maintained. This consists of the subsea cables, offshore and onshore substations as well as the HVDC convertor stations which may also be required for the larger capacity windfarms further from shore. Subsea inspection, cable repair and maintenance along with substation operations and servicing will require a further set of skills, vessels and equipment that our subgroup members have in abundance.
Image - Moray East - Substation under construction at New Deer
Operations and Maintenance Subgroup
DeepWind's O&M Subgroup is led by our two industry Co-chairs Halliburton and Mistras. It currently consists of 115 members who are all listed below and will continue to grow as we recruit new members from the main DeepWind cluster or from additional new members.
||4MS Network Solutions
||Mallaig Harbour Authority
||Mesh Global Ltd
||AJ Engineering & Construction Services
||Michael Gall Transport Limited
||MITRAS Group (Co-Chair)
||Motive Offshore Group Limited
||National Oilwell Varco
||North East Scotland College
||Brammer Buck & Hickman
||North West Marine
||Northern Marine Services
||NRC Environmental Services
||Offshore Safety Professionals Register (OSPR)
||Conserve Oilfield Services
||David MacBrayne Limited
||Donut International Ltd
||Dron & Dickson
||Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd
||Element 2 Ltd
||Port of Inverness
||Portakabin (Scotland) Limited
||Engineering Construction Industry Training Board
||Expro North Sea
||PSG Marine & Logistics Ltd
||Quensh HSEQ Specialists
||First Marine Solutions
||Red Rock Marine
||Reekie Machining Ltd
||Gareloch Support Services
||Remote Medical International
||Global Energy Group
||Rix Shipping (Scotland) Ltd
||Gow's Lybster Limited
||Royal Haskoning DHV
||Safetrade 247 Limited
||Helix Robotics Solutions Ltd
||Hunting Energy Services
||Sparrows Offshore Group Ltd
||Indigo 7 Ventures
||Swire Energy Services
||Industrias Ferri SA
||Texo Group Limited
||Torishima Service Solutions Europe Limited
||James Fisher Asset Information Services
||Trac Oil & Gas Ltd
||Kabel Churchill Limited
||Ventus Resources Limited
||Windcat Workboats (Scotland) Ltd
||London Marine Consultants
||London Offshore Consultants (Aberdeen) Ltd
||MacLean Electrical Group
||Maersk Training UK