Good article posted today at Wind Energy Update on offshore cable installation. A couple of years a go it was hard to get the topic of offshore transmission recognized as a critical factor for building energy production offshore, today this no longer the case – in fact we even get our own conferences now.
In the article they interview Jack Wattel, commercial director, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and Geoff Fisher, vice president, Marine Renewables and Cables Division, Technip Offshore – both reputable guys at reputable installers. Collectively they highlight the following as areas challenging the industry:
- Operating Environment
- Project Scheduling
- Technical Issues
While you are read the detail for yourself – remember, these are the current state of affairs in a decade old market like the North Sea – what I find interesting is thinking through the implications for a brand new market like the US.
The glass-is-half-empty mindset might see only the risk (which is real) still remaining still after 10+ years and the lack of comparable experience and supply chain in North America.
However I prefer my glass half-full, seeing the potential of large scale renewable energy projects in the water – large scale installation is maturing rapidly and offshore transmission projects bring entirely new industries and the skilled labor and knowhow which goes with them into our maritime economy and seaport districts.