The Crown Estate has recommended the use of jack-up vessels, in a new report to help reduce maintenance costs of offshore wind turbines.
Working with the wind industry to identify common challenges and opportunities, the Crown Estate report, titled 'Jack-up Vessel Optimisation', made several recommendations to improve repair times, reduce repair cost and address risk while improving the offshore wind sector performance.
The report also suggests that increased collaboration between wind farm owners around chartering jack-up vessels may help reduce costs.
It also recommends a flexible charter club, where owners pre-plan for vessel sharing without involving full-time shared vessel.
The Crown Estate Offshore Wind head Huub den Rooijen said: "We have been a major player in the development of the offshore wind industry for more than ten years and seen significant growth in that time to the point where there are now economies of scale to be found in the effective use of jack-up vessels.
"This report is part of our strategy to encourage the industry to work together where appropriate to help bring down costs."
Deployment and mobilisation costs of jack-up vessels can form a substantial proportion of repair bills while making quick repairs of single turbines challenging.
The report also suggests that quick response times and more efficient project planning could help lower energy costs, especially with the increasing deployment and geographic clustering of offshore wind farms.
The recommended collaboration is expected to minimise lost production revenue of between £52m to £110m a year across the UK's operational offshore wind farms.
Image: Jack-up vessel collaboration can reduce offshore wind turbines maintenance costs. Photo: © The Crown Estate 2014.