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Industry taskforce to develop guidance on how seabed changes can affect offshore wind installations

Offshore wind installations

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

2 min read Partner content

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has joined forces with leading offshore wind developers and seabed mobility experts to provide clear guidance on seabed change and how it affects offshore wind and marine energy projects.

ORE Catapult is leading a consortium of offshore renewables giants – SSE, ESB, Scottish Power Renewables, and RWE – with seabed mobility experts, Cooper Marine Advisors and Partrac, on an 18-month project to produce guidance on seabed mobility for use in planning offshore wind and marine energy developments worldwide.

A mobile seabed can present risks to installations such as buried cables or offshore wind turbine foundations. These risks need to be identified and managed to reduce potential damage or disruption to an offshore project and reduce the potential cost of repair or replacement.

Charlotte Strang-Moran, Project Engineer at ORE Catapult, said: “As the number of offshore wind installations expand at an ever-increasing rate across the UK and around the world, it’s vital that we understand how changes on the seabed affect these developments.

“Seabed mobility presents potential risks for renewable installations, including offshore wind, wave and tidal energy projects and there is currently no recognised industry approach to assessing this risk. These guidelines will be relevant to multiple geographic locations and could significantly reduce costs for these projects.”

The Seabed Mobility project aims to provide clear guidelines, drawing on best practice within the industry, to assess seabed mobility from site selection to delivery of a project - providing transparency across the industry, and confidence for developers and investors.

Phillipa Slater, Director of Engineering (offshore) at RWE Renewables UK, said: “Seabed mobility is a key challenge for current and future offshore wind projects. As one of the world’s leading offshore wind developers, we clearly see there is a significant need to better understand the influence of seabed mobility throughout the life cycle of a project, in order to ensure performance and structural integrity. 

“The benefits of getting this right are obvious, improving our knowledge on seabed mobility will ultimately help us accelerate the generation of sustainable energy from offshore wind.”

Dr Kevin Black from seabed mobility experts Partrac added: "Our goal is to provide clear and concise guidelines for the assessment of seabed mobility for offshore projects, reducing uncertainty and increasing confidence in the project development process.

"By bringing together this knowledge and expertise, we are confident that we can provide a comprehensive and effective solution to the challenges faced by the industry."

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