Why Do You Need This Book?
This book is the result of 14 years of learning by doing. Fourteen years ago, no one had installed wind farms offshore commercially. Test sites that had been or were installed - in Denmark predominantly - consisted of turbines up to 600 kW and were limited in number. In 2001, the first semicommercial wind farm consisting of 20 Bonus (now Siemens) 2.0-MW turbines was installed at the port entrance of Copenhagen on a sandbank known as Middelgrunden. Those turbines were the result of a private initiative among the residents of Copenhagen called "Middelgrundens Vindmøllelaug." The initiative was backed by the utility "Københavns Energi A/S," which signed the PPA (power purchase agreement) for the 20 turbines to supply power. This made construction of the wind farm possible and installation was started in 2000.
When the project was planned and executed, there were no set standards for offshore work, no programming of activities, and no legal framework that could regulate the activities concerning health, safety, and environmental (HSE) and the permitting of the project. All this was being developed as we moved forward. I wrote this book to record the findings, experiences, and methods that have proven solid enough to endure through the past 10 years of offshore construction and have formed the basis of lawmaking, setting of best practice standards, and HSE regulations for working in the wind farm industry offshore.
What is here represents a work in progress, this means that the data, the statements, and the findings are the best information I can give the reader at this point in time. Therefore, the book will be updated over the coming years, and new information and more authors will contribute data that can be of use in the process of installing an offshore wind farm. The intention is to create a robust basis for understanding the offshore wind farm industry. It is, however, also a book with some anecdotes from my years in the industry, and I hope it provides the reader with some food for thought. It is my belief that this is a more interesting way to learn and to remember data that can sometimes be boring. By giving them life, they will stay in one's memory longer.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book is addressed to everyone involved in, or soon to be involved in, the offshore wind farm industry, whether a consultant, financier, engineer, or technician. It is designed to answer common questions that will be asked at the start, in the middle, and toward the end of a wind farm installation project.
The recorded experiences from the last 10 years will help point the professional in the right direction. It will also give the financing society a chance to ask the technical questions that are necessary to determine whether project planning and execution sound sensible and have been adequately thought through. The engineer will be able to plan without walking into the biggest and most obvious obstacles that are common in the process of installing an offshore wind farm.
The HSE professional will be able to figure out how to set up and execute the planning and monitoring of the processes from a safety point of view. The financier will be able to ask some more in-depth questions and certainly understand more of the process, the risks involved, and why the world looks different outside an office.
The intent is not to present "be all and end all" documentation but rather to provide a statement that the reader can use as a starting point for an offshore wind farm career. There is a huge need for more in-depth knowledge and information before the many statistics, hints, and fragments of advice can be of use. This is why one should start here and work through the knowledge base that is contained everywhere in the industry but, unfortunately, is scattere