A new approach to installing and maintaining deep-water offshore wind turbines could cut costs by 9%.
The results of a £200,000 Innovate UK Energy Catalyst study on the Self Erecting Nacelle System (SENSE) show the technology could also trim 4% from the cost of energy at wind farms in shallower water.
Its developer, SENSE Offshore Limited, says the system means large jack-ups and crane vessels are no longer required.
It instead transports a pre-assembled and tested rotor assembly onboard a large multi-purpose construction vessel and then carries the turbine to the top of the tower on rails.
The study found the system could cut around €125 million (£109.4m) from the capital expenditure on a €5.1 billion (£4.5bn) wind farm in deep waters and save €28.5 million (£25m) a year in operating costs.
SENSE Offshore MD, Patrick Geraets, said: “Wind turbines are getting bigger and developers want to exploit deep water sites.
“How are these turbines going to be installed? SENSE is an answer – faster, cheaper, independent of water depth, with world wide application and it is scalable to the larger turbines coming to market in the next five years.”