Unmanned Surface Vessel surveys Greater Gabbard


An Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) was deployed off the coast of Suffolk to undertake survey work for Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, owned by SSE Renewables and innogy. Throughout the survey, the data collected was monitored from shore to validate data collection before the vessel departed the work locations.

The XO-450, owned and operated by XOCEAN, carried out seabed surveys on seven of the turbines at the 140-turbine wind farm, located 23 kilometres off the UK coast. 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.

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.”

Commenting on the project, 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.”

Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm consists of 140 SWT-3.6-107 Siemens turbines. It is located off the coast of East Anglia and was commissioned in August 2013. With a 504 MW capacity, the project is capable of producing enough renewable energy to supply around 530,000 homes each year.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.