05 October 2015
The results of three years’ work in the ECOWindS-project between Denmark, UK, Germany and Norway on how to reduce cost of energy within offshore wind servicing was presented at the Final Conference in September.
The conclusions of the ECOWindS project was presented to more than 100 participants in September. The goal of the projects has been to pave the way between the Offshore Wind Servicing regions of South Denmark, North-West Germany, East of England and the Region of Møre in Norway.
To pave the way for new research and understanding of how the costs of offshore wind servicing can be driven down through research, innovation and cross boarder cooperation. That has been the main goal of the European Clusters for Offshore Wind Servicing project (ECOWindS) that has run for three years and will be completed with a final report next month. More than 100 offshore participants from wind companies, universities and organisations were present when the results of the ECOWinS project were presented at the premises one of the project partners, Orbis Energy in England.
“Our main goal has been to elaborate a joint action plan that can close the gap between where the industry is today and where it would like to be. We have worked in close cooperation with the industry. During the project a technical advisory group of industry experts reviewed the more than 150 ideas for cost reduction that we presented to them. These ideas have been narrowed down to 32 detailed concepts,” says the Project Manager for ECOWindS, Hans A. Pedersen.
He is Head of Renewables in Offshoreenergy.dk, the leading partner in the project that has involved six other partners from four different regions a: South Denmark, North-West Germany, East of England and the Region of Møre in Norway. The partners are: Technical University of Denmark (DK), Orbis Energy (UK), germanwind (D), Ålesund Kunnskapspark (N), Aalesund University College (N) and Nautilus Associates (UK).
Coperation and action
Among the participants at the conference was John Best, Head of Sustainable Energy at James Fisher and Sons who through his former job as CEO in EEEGR helped to promote the need for the project in 2012.
“It was really good to see continuity of countries and importantly the people in key organisations from business, academia and local authority, working together to a common goal. Having been involved in the projects POWER and POWER Cluster and now seeing the outturn of ECOWindS it is clear the vision of over a decade ago comes closer to pragmatic delivery on a daily basis,” he said.
He also mentioned that from the feed back from the audience at the conference he observed a strong recognition that cost savings can be made thorough O&M.
“But we should bear in mind that the ability to consistently make these cost savings will be strongly influenced through the design and construction phases of developing offshore wind farms in preparation for robust and reliable operation in the future,” he states.
Business Development Director Dr. Helmut Klug from DNV-GL in Germany who has worked with energy for 25 years and has specialized in offshore wind was on the stand to contribute to the cost reduction discussion. He mentioned that his company spends 26 million EUR a year on innovation.
“I just passed the information I got from ECOWindS to our Strategic Projects team leader who takes care of strategic roadcheck in Germany – he will have a look into the conclusions of the project”, said Helmut Klug and mentioned that he considers maintenance to be the area of biggest potential for cost reduction.
“In DNV GL we published a cost reduction manifesto last year. Our main conclusions were that in order to reduce costs it is very important to do it right by mitigating risk and increasing certainty and to do it better by improving the efficiency of existing processes. Thirdly it is important to do it differently by innovation in the future,” he added.
The ECOWindS project has officially come to an end - but the work continues. The final report will be published in November and the partners have engaged to proceed the work by taking the necessary steps to execute the joint action plan which will take offshore wind closer to the overall target of lowering LCoE by 40% by 2020.
Read more about the ECOWindS project at: www.ecowinds.eu where you will also find the previous reports and presentations from the Final Conference. The website will be up and running for the next two years.
Statements from the conference:
Anders T. Bræstrup, Business Developer, Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark
"We have supported ECOWindS-project from the start with a letter of intent and have been very focused on the outcome. The joint action plan presented at the Final Conference pinpoints the major obstacles within offshore wind servicing and defines a number of areas with a big potential for cost reduction. These conclusions are of great value for us in our work to support the offshore industry in the region of Southern Denmark. We will now study the plan thoroughly."
M.sc. Sebastian Pfaffel, IWES, Germany:
"I am participating in the Final Conference because it is important for us as a research institute to see what the wind industry needs in order to be able to help them getting things done. I do not find the conclusions of the ECOWindS very surprising but it is positive, that the project group has worked systematically, has structured the information and now has a joint action plan. Now the challenge is to make the companies collaborate even though they have their own business case with knowledge and data related."
Alan O’Neill, CHPV Offshore Energy Media Services, England.
"I have worked as a photographer specialized in offshore photography for 34 years. Before going offshore I explain my customers that they always have to add on extra time, so if an assignment is supposed to take 10 days ‘on the paper’ it is necessary to estimate up to 20 days of work because of waiting time, safety briefing, security check etc. It was very useful for me to hear Siemens inform that their crew offshore are only capable of actually working 565 hours out of the 1674 working hours. That rectifies my estimate, which is valuable when talking to the customers."