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The installation of the wind turbines and their support structures is a major factor in the design of offshore wind farms, with the specific challenge of having to perform multiple repeated operations in difficult offshore locations.  As well as being a significant contributor to the capital cost, the installation process may drive the selection of support structure technology.

The substation installation is also a major operation, albeit a single one, unlike the wind turbine and wind turbine foundation installation, and therefore much more conventional in the offshore industry.  A large crane vessel is likely to be required – either a shear-leg crane or other heavy lift unit.  Alternatively, self-installing substation designs may find an increasing role in the future.

Cable installation is a significant industry sector, with specialist design and planning, and installation vessels and equipment.  The design and planning of the cable installation is an early activity, covering:

  • Identification of hazards to cables
  • Site investigation to identify seabed properties (geophysical survey, vibrocore sampling, cone penetrometer tests, boreholes)
  • Development of burial protection indices
  • Scour protection
  • Cable route selection
  • Cable transport
  • Vessel and equipment selection
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