TenneT launches idea for new cooperation model for offshore maintenance

Dutch grid operator TenneT is taking the initiative to jointly house management and maintenance services of the offshore infrastructure in a new model. This could help make offshore maintenance more efficient.

In the coming years, many wind farms, offshore grid connections and other installations will be developed in the North Sea. By 2031, TenneT expects to have realized 17 offshore grid connections with an installed capacity of more than 21 GW of offshore wind in the Dutch North Sea.

The enormous growth in offshore infrastructure development creates a great need for operations and maintenance services. Materials, personnel, installations and vessels for maintenance & management are, however, scarce. This sometimes results in long waiting times for maintenance. When parties act together and start sharing these resources, they can be used more efficiently.

Cooperation should lead to greater efficiency, sustainability and safety offshore

Oil & gas operators have already partly found each other in forms of cooperation. Many wind farm operators still arrange this themselves, or procure these services separately. In the coming period, the transmission system operator will share information and ideas with wind farm and oil & gas operators, to gauge their interest in a collaborative model.

Erik Hiensch, responsible for Operations & Maintenance offshore at TenneT: “We notice that many parties are facing the same challenges as TenneT, which is why we want to investigate whether we can develop a new cooperation model. As an offshore transmission system operator, we play an important role in the development of offshore infrastructure and want to take the lead in this initiative.”

TenneT expects to achieve greater efficiency by sharing, for example, the deployment of vessels, personnel and materials. This can save money by jointly organizing services on a larger scale, for example. In addition, this can ensure a more sustainable way of organizing work with less impact on the environment and increase safety at sea by being able to perform the same work with fewer vessel movements.

Information meeting

Hiensch: “We are approaching the ‘Sharing of Offshore O&M Services’ plan in two phases. First, we will show relevant parties what we are planning and gauge who wants to participate. On April 23, TenneT is organizing an information meeting for this purpose to talk to interested parties. If there is enough interest, in the second phase we will discuss where, in case of cooperation, the most opportunities lie and what the practical, financial and legal sides look like to implement the plan.” Source: TenneT

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