Carbon Trust hosts first UK demonstration of innovative access vessel for offshore wind industry

17th June 2015: Today the Carbon Trust hosted the first UK demonstration of an innovative new vessel designed to reach offshore wind farms more cheaply and easily. The Wave Craft, developed by Norwegian shipbuilder Umoe Mandal with support from the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), was put through its paces at Seawork International 2015 in Southampton.

Umoe Mandal's Wave Craft was a finalist in the OWA's international competition to find the most innovative solutions for accessing far-shore wind farms. The vessel, adapted from a design used by the Royal Norwegian Navy, was taken through from the concept stage to full scale production thanks to support from the OWA.

The Wave Craft is an innovative surface effect ship (SES), using an air cushion to lift 80 percent of the vessel and ensuring that only a small part of the hull is in the water. This reduces wave induced motions and opens a larger operational window for maintenance teams to access wind farms. The vessel can reach high speeds with a lower fuel consumption than a high speed catamaran. Its stability in the water reduces sea sickness and increases wind farm accessibility by at least 20 percent.

As of 1 March 2015, OWA partner DONG Energy has chartered the first Wave Craft vessel at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea. DONG Energy is one of the nine industry partners in the OWA programme who have supported the development of this concept.

The Wave Craft vessel demonstrated at Seawork International is a tribute to the determination of the Umoe Mandal shipyard in bringing such an innovative design from concept to reality. The OWA has supported the de-risking of the design over the last few years, providing both technical insight from offshore wind developers and financial support, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this vessel will have in optimising O&M of offshore wind farms and hence reducing the Levelised Cost of Electricity.

- Dan Kyle Spearman, Project Manager Access Systems at the Carbon Trust

We really believe that we with this vessel have found the right market for the Surface Effect Ship technology. Using the air cushion the vessel, with its top speed of above 40 knots, offers significantly higher speed than competing designs, and seasickness is almost non-existent. Further the air cushion damps motions when accessing turbines, increasing the operational window to wave heights of up to 2.5 meters significant wave height. Finally we can operate at a minimum draught of less than 1 meter, providing more options for tidal restricted harbours. The offshore wind industry can benefit from all these added performances, and especially with the new wind farms being further offshore. We believe that the Wave Craft offers game changing capabilities on how to think O&M for the offshore wind, and have been very happy with showing and demonstrating the first vessel of the class, Umoe Ventus, at Seawork 2015.

- Trygve Halvorsen Espeland, Development Manager of the Wave Craft at Umoe Mandal,


For further information please contact Ainslie Macleod, PR Manager, at the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or email

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low-carbon world;
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services;
  • helps develop and deploy low-carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power