Ocean data company XOCEAN has provided its XO-450 unmanned surface vessel (USV) for seabed surveys on seven of the turbines at the 140-turbine Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, located 23 kilometres off the UK coast.
Throughout the survey, the data collected was monitored from shore in real-time by experts located in the UK, to validate data collection before the vessel departed the work locations.
The unmanned vessel is around the size of an average car (4.5 metres) and half its weight (750kg), and can be monitored and controlled 24/7 via a satellite connection by a team at an on-shore control centre.
Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables and innogy.
Jeremy Williamson, SSE Renewables head of operations, said: “We are constantly looking for innovative ways in which we can operate our fleet of renewables assets.
“XOCEAN’s vessel will allow us to carry out our work in a more efficient, and most importantly for SSE Renewables and our partners innogy, in the safest way possible. We’re really interested to see how this sort of work can help improve our industry and look forward to working with XOCEAN in future.”
James Ives, CEO of XOCEAN, said: “Our USV platform has demonstrated itself to be a safe, reliable and low carbon solution for the collection of ocean data. We are delighted to be working with SSE and innogy on this ground-breaking project.”