Fern Communications Scoops East Anglia One Radio Contract

Fern Communications has won a contract to provide its radio communication system during the construction of ScottishPower Renewables' East Anglia One offshore wind farm.

The UK-based company will supply WaveCom, a technology used to monitor offshore systems without offshore IP connection, which allows marine radios to be remotely controlled from shore.

The contract, secured in partnership with James Fisher Marine Services, is the company's second major in the offshore wind sector, previously providing the technology to Siemens Gamesa for the construction of the Galloper offshore wind farm.

According to the company founder, Jennifer Cushion, the flat landscape of the UK east coast presents a challenge for providing radio coverage since there are few high vantage points to locate the antenna at the necessary height for offshore coverage. In those terms, Cushion said the system is tailored to suit the geographical and technical requirements for each project.

“Our wide-area system, utilising multi-site radio repeaters linked by broadband and satellite, will provide operators and sub-contractors with secure, seamless and uninterrupted radio coverage for existing and future wind farms along the east coast, backed up with multi-level redundancy and secure voice and data logs,” said Cushion.

WaveCom was developed with the help of a GBP 50,000 grant from the Supply Chain Innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE) programme, secured in January last year.

The East Anglia One offshore wind farm, currently being built some 43km offshore Suffolk in the UK, will comprise 102 Siemens 7MW turbines, scheduled for full commissioning in 2020.