UK: Enventi Completes Analysis of Cable Installation in Offshore Wind Industry

Enventi announces the completion of its comprehensive investigation into power cable installation in the offshore wind industry which forms part of the company’s strategic move into the design of offshore wind farm infrastructure.

Enventi’s General Manager, Scott Macknocher commented on the findings: “Until now, we have found it difficult to understand why power cable installation appears to be the problem child of the offshore wind industry. especially given that it tends to be an established activity in other sectors, albeit with some well known challenges and risks.”

“However our analysis appears to show that the majority of problems lie in the design of cable interfaces and the operating methodologies which are specific to offshore wind. These problems appear to have become accepted to such an extent that they have now become the norm. We don’t think that these problems are particularly difficult to overcome, however there seems to be a resistance to change, possibly explained by the belief that the cost of cable installation only represents around 2 – 3% of project capex. In fact our analysis shows that in some cases, the direct cost is higher: nearer 5%, and when indirect but consequential costs are factored in, installation costs may be as high as 7 – 8%.”

“In addition, there are problems with contracting philosophies, burial targets and the suitability of some contractors to undertake large-scale projects. That said, our supply vs. demand analysis does not show a significant constraint to inter-array cable installation through 2020 although the export and inter-connector cable installation market may see tightness in the short-term.”

Copies of the report are available from Enventi whilst the resulting technical findings will feed directly into the company’s EOC design project (Elimination of Offshore Construction) which aims to reduce the cost of energy from offshore wind to a level approaching £100/MWh.

And following further analysis of the offshore wind supply chain and its ability to deliver the likely pipeline of planned projects, Enventi has further downgraded its 2020 European deployment forecast. Total offshore wind capacity in Europe is now forecast to reach 26 – 27GW by 2020: 13GW in the UK, 9GW in Germany and a further 5GW elsewhere. This compares to the recent EWEA forecast of 40GW of installations by 2020.

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Subsea World News Staff , May 08, 2012;  Image: Enventi