Analysing the effectiveness of different offshore maintenance base options for floating wind farms

Avanessova, Nadezda and Gray, Anthony and Lazakis, Iraklis and Thomson, R Camilla and Rinaldi, Giovanni (2022) Analysing the effectiveness of different offshore maintenance base options for floating wind farms. Wind Energy Science, 7 (2). pp. 887-901. ISSN 2366-7451 (

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With the growth of the floating wind industry, new operation and maintenance (O&M) research has emerged evaluating tow-to-port strategies , but limited work has been done on analysing other logistical strategies for offshore floating wind farms. In particular, what logistical solutions are the best for farms located far offshore that cannot be reached by crew transfer vessels (CTVs)? Previous studies have looked at the use of surface effect ships (SES) and CTVs during the operation and maintenance (O&M) of bottom-fixed wind farms, but only some of them included service operation vessels (SOVs). This study analyses two strategies that could be used for floating wind farms located far from shore using ORE Catapult's in-house O&M simulation tool. One strategy comprises of having a SOV performing most of the maintenance on the wind farm, and the other strategy uses an offshore maintenance base (OMB) instead, which would be located next to the offshore substation and would accommodate three CTVs. This paper provides an overview of the tool and the inputs used to run it, including failure rates of floating wind turbine subsea components and their replacement costs. In total six types of simulations were run with two strategies, two different weather limits for CTVs and two weather datasets ERA5 and ERA-20C. The results of this study show that the operational expenditure (OPEX) costs for the strategy with an OMB are 5%-8% (depending on the inputs) lower than with SOV, but if capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs are included in the analysis and the net present value (NPV) is taken into account then the fixed costs associated with building the offshore maintenance base have a significant impact on selecting a preferred strategy. It was found that for the case study presented in this paper the OMB would have to share the foundation with a substation in order to be cost competitive with the SOV strategy.


Avanessova, Nadezda, Gray, Anthony, Lazakis, Iraklis ORCID logoORCID:, Thomson, R Camilla and Rinaldi, Giovanni;