29th November 2016
As the first phase of offshore construction of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm drew to a close earlier this month, our risk management specialists have been reflecting on the successful application of their metocean planning and forecasting software, ForeCoast® Marine, to the project.
Following an initial foundation construction campaign between January and March 2016, which was heavily affected by adverse weather early on, and a planned suspension of works due to the black bream spawning season, the installation of the foundations recommenced in July. During this second campaign, JBA was commissioned to apply its ForeCoast® Marine software to help make strategic decisions with respect to weather and vessel strategies and to help forecast and monitor construction progress on a weekly basis.
The weekly projections were provided by the ForeCoast® Marine Gamer Mode module; a sophisticated decision making tool which allows complex marine projects to be simulated in a virtual world. Each week from July through to the end of the construction phase in November, the model was run to re-project the installation schedule based on the progress made to date and known operational constraints. This analysis allowed Rampion to continually monitor progress and anticipate any programme slippages well in advance; thereby allowing mitigation strategies to be put in place.
Rampion will continue to work closely with JBA throughout the wind turbine installation campaign planned in for 2017.
Commenting on the project, Mark Lawless (Director, JBA Consulting) said:
“It was a great pleasure to work on the Rampion project and help predict and track the steady improvements in progress that were made throughout the foundation installation campaign. The upward trend can largely be attributed to improving operational performance and weather conditions, with the weather being unseasonably good towards the end of the campaign. Which shows that sometimes the weather can work in your favour.”
The 400MW 116 turbine project being built 13km off the Sussex coast by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Canadian energy company Enbridge, will, when complete provide enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 347,000 homes a year. The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018.