Offshore wind farm

Offshore electric boat charging system cuts emissions from turbine maintenance

A charging system for electric boats has been developed for the offshore wind sector that cuts the carbon emissions associated with turbine maintenance.

Developed by MJR Power, the offshore wind vessel charging system uses energy generated by the turbines themselves to power the electrified marine transport vehicles.

The cables and foundations that support turbines and carry power from wind farms back to the mainland need constant monitoring and maintenance.

Conducting this work on offshore wind turbines usually requires energy companies to send out large vessels that use vast quantities of fuel, with very high operating costs, and are often crewed by up to 60 people from engineers and submersible pilots to cooks and cleaners.

But the new project to install offshore charge points will enable all electric crew transfer vessels and other offshore support vessels to connect in the field to a green energy source.

It has secured funding as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which is backed by the Department for Transport.

The charge points will also help to tackle range barriers associated with electric boats which will increase the uptake by vessel owners and operators who want to transition to fully electric and green propulsion systems through retrofitting and building new vessels.

MJR Power said it hoped that the ability to charge when in the field will “significantly accelerate” the adoption of emission-free propulsion systems, which will be an asset for the decarbonisation of the global maritime sector.

Mohammed Latif, electrical engineer at MJR Power, said: “Our system will be absolutely crucial in helping governments to deliver on their net-zero carbon targets and I am looking forwarding to demonstrating how it works and the benefits it offers.”

As one of the global leaders in the sector, the UK has been ramping up installations of offshore wind turbines as part of efforts to decarbonise the electricity infrastructure.

In January, Scotland announced the results of its latest offshore wind leasing auction, which saw some 17 projects gain approval for an eventual generating capacity of 25GW.

In the same month, the government also announced a further £31m for the development of floating offshore wind projects in a bid to drive the deployment of the clean technology.

According to the International Energy Agency, the global offshore wind market grew by nearly 30 per cent each year between 2010 and 2018.

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