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Offshore Wind Cable Burial Risk Assessment Methodology

Guidance published by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator to give the offshore wind industry a unified, systematic approach to the risk management of cable burial for the first time

Wind Energy

Cable Burial Risk Assessment (CBRA) Methodology Guidance for the Preparation of Cable Burial Depth of Lowering Specification

Published 26 February 2015

The Cable Burial Risk Assessment Guidance offers a standardised, repeatable and qualitative method to improve risk management of subsea cables for offshore wind farms, improve conservative estimates of residual risk, and ultimately reduce the installation and insurance costs for subsea cables.

Cables are the root cause of the most frequent and largest insurance claims against offshore wind developments. According to industry figures shared by GCube, specialist offshore underwriter, over 80 per cent of construction projects have resulted in a cable related incident. Over half of these claims are solely down to incorrect installation and load out of cables. Between 2007 and 2014, the cumulative costs to insurers was £75 million with over 60 incidents alone resulting in pay outs of between £0.5 million and £13.5 million per claim.

The CBRA Guidance provides a risk based assessment and enables the burial Depth of Lowering specification to be optimised. In addition, it provides a means to assess the residual risk to the cable after burial operations are complete to a specified depth.

The new method has been developed by a consortium of UTEC Geomarine, Cathie Associates and Xodus Ltd on behalf of the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator.

Cable Burial Risk Assessment Methodology Guidance for the Preparation of Cable Burial Depth of Lowering Specification (PDF)


The Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator is a world leading industry‐led collaborative programme between the UK government and industry, designed and managed by the Carbon Trust. The multi‐million pound programme has been running since 2008 with the aim of bringing down the costs of low carbon electricity produced by offshore wind farms.

Read more about the Offshore Wind Accelerator.

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