Fjellstrand, one of the 13 access companies we have been supporting over the last 12 months from our Access Competition has achieved a major and exciting milestone - they have received an order for six vessels.
All six vessels will enter services in 2013 for major wind farm operators. In 2011, the Fjellstrand WindServer was announced as one of 13 shortlisted concepts (from a total of 450 entries) of the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) access competition. The competition aimed to identify and develop new access systems to dramatically improve the availability of turbines and the safety of people during the transfer to turbines.
This is exciting news and is much needed given the huge challenge ahead in reducing costs for the offshore wind sector especially for the Round 3 sites which are far from shore in harsh sea conditions. These new vessels will help to substantially reduce O&M costs. Recent industry analysis suggests that improving O&M could deliver almost 4% cost reduction by 2020. These new vessels will extend the window for O&M activities from 200 days a year to approaching 300 days a year, which will increase availability and reduce cost substantially.
Phil de Villiers, Head of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust
Read more on Carbon Trust work on offshore wind.