Ørsted and Maersk to test prototype vessel charging buoy

29 September 2020 (Last Updated September 29th, 2020 17:03)

Ørsted has partnered with Maersk Supply Service for testing a proto-type buoy on one of Ørsted's offshore wind farms in 2021.

Ørsted and Maersk to test prototype vessel charging buoy
The mooring would allow Ørsted to supply energy to electric vessels at sea. Credit: Ørsted.

Ørsted has partnered with Maersk Supply Service for testing a prototype mooring and charging buoy for offshore wind farm vessels.

The companies will first test the buoy at one of Ørsted’s offshore wind farms in 2021.

Developed by Maersk Supply Service, the prototype buoy would displace a ‘significant amount’ of marine fuel use with green electricity.

Ørsted offshore senior vice-president and operations head Mark Porter said: “Ørsted has set the ambitious target of having carbon neutral operations in 2025, which includes the operations of our offshore wind farms.

“Technical and commercial innovation is central to Ørsted’s ability to provide real, tangible solutions to achieve our operational ambitions – and we need our partners’ support.”

Maersk Supply Service’s charging buoy can charge smaller battery-powered or hybrid-electrical vessels, and supply power to larger vessels. This would in turn allow the vessels to turn off their engines when idle.

An Ørsted spokesperson said deployment of the buoy would remove all emissions in the maritime industry, as it has the potential to substitute fossil-based fuels with green electricity.

Under the partnership agreement, Ørsted will integrate the buoy with the electrical grid at the test site.

The company intends to integrate the buoy into the offshore wind segment by making it publicly available. It also aims to increase the uptake potential of the design, and therefore its carbon reduction potential across the sector.

The buoy can be deployed as a mooring point outside ports, as well as at offshore wind farms and other offshore installations.

Additionally, the companies say it would reduce vessel congestion at ports, while removing air pollution.

Maersk Supply Service has secured energy technology development and demonstration programme grants of $3.4m (DKK22m) from the Danish Energy Agency in 2020 for the engineering and demonstration of the power buoy.

The Danish Maritime Fund has also provided initial support to conceptualise the project.