Offshore wind supported by driverless crafts: Two uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) have studied the seabed of intended offshore wind farms while supplying the experts with ocean data to back up the sustainability credentials of the developments.

The data collection services provider XOCEAN own & operate the vessels that carried out cable route surveys in depths of up to 60 metres within the North Sea.

The technology permitted the project managers to chart a formerly unknown rock ridge, situated on the seabed & recognise an alternative course for export cables.

The data allows the company to prevent possible intrusive plans on the rock ridge, similar to trenching.

Additionally, it is calculated that the vessels release 1,000 times less carbon compared to traditional survey vessels.

The 2.3GW Berwick Bank project which is owned by SSE Renewables, will own over 240 wind turbines.

It is expected to lower yearly carbon dioxide emissions by 4 million tonnes & create enough energy to power 3.5 million homes annually, which is more than all the homes in Scotland.

Consents Team Manager for Berwick Bank Wind Farm, Louise Davis, stated: “These smaller, nimbler vessels have allowed the Berwick Bank project team to identify possible options for our export cable corridors, whilst avoiding damage to the local sea environment.

“We are especially delighted to be using innovative technology with a much-reduced carbon footprint.”

Offshore wind supported by driverless crafts

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