Publications

Operation and maintenance costs of offshore wind farms and potential multi-use platforms in the Dutch North Sea

Rockmann, C.; Lagerveld, S.; Stavenuiter, J.

Summary

Aquaculture within offshore wind farms has been identified as one of the many possibilities of smart use of marine space, leading to opportunities for innovative entrepreneurship. Offshore areas potentially pose less conflict with co-users than onshore. At the same time, offshore areas and offshore constructions are prone to high technical risks through mechanical force, corrosion, and biofouling. The expected lifetime of an offshore structure is to a great extent determined by the risk of failures. This chapter elaborates on logistical challenges that the offshore industry faces. Operation and maintenance (O&M) activities typically represent a big part of the total costs (e.g. 25–30% of the total lifecycle costs for offshore wind farms). The offshore wind energy sector is considered an industry with promising features for the public and private sector. Large wind farms farther off the coast pose high expectations because of higher average wind speeds and hence greater wind energy yield (in terms of megawatts per capital). These conditions entail additional challenges in logistics, though. One of the main hurdles that hinders use of offshore wind energy is the high cost for O&M. The offshore wind industry will have to solve these problems in order to achieve substantial cost reduction - alone or jointly with other (potential) users. It is precisely the logistical problems around O&M where most likely synergy benefits of multi-use platforms (MUPs) can be achieved. The offshore wind energy industry is eagerly looking for technical innovations. Until now they mostly sought the solutions in their own circles. If the combination of offshore wind energy and offshore aquaculture proves to be feasible and profitable in practice, there may be an additional possibility to reduce the O&M costs by synergy effects of the combined operations. Logistic waiting times, for example, can result in substantial revenue losses, whereas timely spare-parts supply or sufficient repair capacity (technicians) to shorten the logistic delay times are beneficial. A recent study suggests that a cost reduction of 10% is feasible, if the offshore wind and offshore aquaculture sectors are combined in order to coordinate and share O&M together. The presented asset management control model proves useful in testing the innovative, interdisciplinary multi-use concepts, simulating return rates under different assumptions, thus making the approach more concrete and robust.