- 11th August 2017
- Posted by: Sabina Gubbin
- Category: Projects
The installation of offshore wind farms is complex, risky and expensive. The installation activities currently underway at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm (ROWF) off the Sussex Coastline, are no exception to this.
Installation of ROWF’s foundations commenced early in 2016 and operations were organised into two campaigns to accommodate environmental sensitivities. During the first installation phase, ROWF experienced extremely poor weather. As a result of these unusual conditions, ROWF needed to act to help guide the project to complete on schedule. To do this, they needed reliable evidence that could be used to support their decision making and justify their decisions to investors.
During the second installation campaign, we were commissioned to apply our ForeCoast® Marine software to help make these strategic decisions. The software considers weather and vessel strategies and helps forecast and monitor construction progress on a weekly basis.
Support was provided by the ForeCoast® Marine Gamer Mode module. This is a sophisticated decision making tool allowing complex marine projects to be simulated in a virtual world.
The Gamer Mode allows the user to play out the planned operations in a game like environment, identifying the key risks to a sequence of operations. It can also compare various strategies with one another such that refinements can be made to help design out weather sensitivity. The model can also be run on a regular basis to re-project the installation schedule. This is based on the progress made to date and known operational constraints.
The Gamer Mode has allowed the ROWF team to compare several strategies, including:
- The cost benefits of a variety of vessel combinations for assisting the wind turbine installations. The software could quickly show where the additional cost of extra capability could and could not be justified
- The likely proportion of times that the construction vessels will attempt to perform simultaneous operations which are restricted for environmental reasons
- The risks and opportunities related to various charter terms
- Logistical aspects concerning the reliable transportation of the vessels and components to the construction site.
The insight provided by the ForeCoast® Marine Gamer Mode has also allowed the ROWF team to continually monitor progress and anticipate any programme slippages well in advance. This allows for mitigation strategies to be put in place, helping to minimise risks and costs.
Want to know more?
The 400MW 116 turbine Rampion Offshore Wind Farm project is being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge. It will, when complete, provide enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 347,000 houses a year. The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018.