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Deep water wind farms to present major new challenges

Offshore wind farms in deep water will present new technical construction and operational challenges, turbine operators warned this week.

Vestas operations manager for the Thanet Flats wind farm, Andrew Dever said turbines built in the next stage of offshore wind farm development will be more difficult to install and manage. “Turbines will be further from land and be fixed in deeper water, making maintenance and installation more difficult,” he said.

“Turbines will be further from land and be fixed in deeper water, making maintenance and installation more difficult.”

Andrew Dever, Vestas

The Crown Estate will decide next month which companies will get to develop the third round of offshore zones, with one bidder allocated per zone.

It is hoped that if these areas are fully used, the UK renewable energy sector have 40GW of offshore wind power by 2020. This is sufficient to supply every home in the UK.

British Wind Energy Association offshore renewables development manager Peter Madigan said the third round of offshore turbines alone should contribute 25GW of installed offshore wind power capacity.

“Under rounds one and two, 8GW is available to be installed plus possible extensions. Round three would free up an additional 25GW in nine offshore zones. In Scotland there will be another 6.5GW also announced by the end of the year. This adds up to 40GW in total − way ahead of any country in the world,” he said.

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