Offshore wind projects are complex, with multiple stakeholders and with two key contractors – the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and foundation designer – involved in design optimisation loops. Without adequate management of these design interfaces, projects can be saddled with delays and suboptimal designs. We see the key to this role as the practical understanding on the engineering challenges faced on both sides of the interface, as well as good change management and planning.
The effective delivery of this role will:
- Minimise risk of project delays/overspend
- Gain visibility of technical risks early in programmes
- Facilitate improved foundation design optimisation, ultimately lowering CAPEX.
Due to the immaturity of the industry, the problem is even greater for floating wind. This is especially true where this may be the first commercial project for any of the key parties. Interface management during the engineering design phases of a floating wind project is difficult because it requires:
- A fundamental understanding of how turbines and foundations respond and the impact of decisions on their designs
- Knowledge of the fixed offshore standards and the deviations from those standards that need to be made for floating developments
- Perspective on the importance of input information (e.g. metocean conditions)
- Experience of the key technical risks floating wind projects face and how and when these should be mitigated, and
- The ability to independently appraise decision making and progress to manage the project.
We have worked on the early stage engineering of six commercial floating projects, and the commissioning and performance analysis for two. We have first-hand experience of the complexities and can provide independent advice and support with the interface management for floating wind site developments.