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Experts shun offshore wind regulation despite Greater Gabbard dispute

Offshore wind experts have said there is no need for increased regulation in the UK’s offshore wind programme, despite a dispute over the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm that was revealed in NCE last week.

Wind farm developer RES Offshore lead structural engineer Danny Bonnet said: “I’m pleased the UK doesn’t have unnecessary amounts of regulation. Clients [for offshore wind] are utilities and they are expert asset managers.”

A row over costs on the Greater Gabbard project became public last week when it emerged that energy firm Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was embroiled in a £300M dispute with US contracting giant Fluor over work at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.

However, Bonnet said wind farm contractors will look harder at their supply chains following Fluor’s experience with low-cost fabricators. Crown Estate supply chain manager Adrian Fox agreed. “[Problems at] the Greater Gabbard wind farm may not have been a weakness in design,” said Fox. “There’s not an endemic problem with the design.”

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