World’s First Offshore Vessel Charging Points to Be Installed on UK Wind Farms This Summer
The world’s first offshore charging points for electric vessels will be installed on the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms off the UK around late summer, according to the UK’s Department for Transport.
The project to develop an offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system is led by MJR Power and Automation and also includes ORE Catapult, Xceco, Artemis Technologies, and Tidal Transit.
The partners secured the UK government funding for the project back in September 2021 as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the UK Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.
The goal of the project is to design, build, and test an electric charge point situated on a wind turbine. This approach will access the infrastructure already in place such as a turbine platform and electrical cables, to provide renewable electricity to vessels.
As an eCTV ‘docks’ with the turbine, a cable reel will lower down an electrical charge connection which will plug in to the vessel and charge a battery on-board.
Although the technology necessary for this is relatively mature, this has yet to be done before and so this project will need to develop standards, working practices, and procedures in order to safely carry this out at sea, MJR Power and Automation said.
The charge points are expected to enable all-electric crew transfer vessels and other offshore support vessels to connect in the field to a 100 per cent green energy source generated directly by the offshore wind turbines.
This new technological innovation aims to break down the existing range barriers and thus increase the uptake by vessel owners and operators with a transition to fully electric and green propulsion systems, for retrofit and new build vessels.
Lynn and Inner Dowsing are the two adjacent offshore wind farms located off the Lincolnshire coast, comprising 54 turbines with a total capacity of 194 MW.
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