Spanish companies Navantia and Eolos Floating Lidar Solutions have signed an agreement to develop maintenance systems for the offshore wind industry using unmanned marine autonomous vehicles.

Featuring advanced meteorological data acquisition systems, the autonomous vehicles will be designed to inspect, diagnose and monitor offshore wind farms worldwide.

Under an exclusivity agreement, Navantia and Eolos will develop and commercially launch technology, products and services to operate and maintain the wind farms.

The companies will combine advanced sensor technology with unmanned marine and aerial vehicles to operate offshore assets.

Navantia Green Energy commercial director Abel Méndez Díaz said: “This strategic alliance with Eolos constitutes a great opportunity for our companies to collaborate and expand our range of products and services in the renewable energy sector, as well as a great leap in the development of civil technology for the global offshore wind industry.”

The two companies intend to start demonstration tests next month off the Spanish coast, where Navantia’s unmanned service vessel Vendaval has been operating since 2019.

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Eolos CEO Rajai Aghabi said: “This collaboration will allow us to extend the services we offer to our clients and cover the entire life cycle of an offshore wind farm, that is, from its development phase to operation and maintenance, combining Navantia technology with our experience and infrastructure in global marine operations.”

Eolos measures and characterises the meteoceanic conditions of marine sites for the offshore wind industry, while Navantia is a full naval services provider and a ‘relevant’ competitor in the offshore wind sector.

Last November, Danish transmission system operator Energinet contracted Eolos to deploy a floating LiDAR buoy at the Hesselø wind farm offshore from Zealand.

The buoy is designed to measure twelve months of wind speed and direction at the site.