Safe Con­struc­tion and Ope­ra­tion of Offs­hore Wind Farms

Insu­rers sup­port energy reform

A few days ago, the "Meerwind Süd/Ost" (Sea Wind South/East) offshore wind farm on the island of Helgoland went online in trial operation. With wind turbines on the high seas, the wind farm can generate a total of around 1,000 Megawatts of power for the German grid, and the German government plans to increase this number to 15,000 Megawatts by the year 2030. The insurance industry contributes its expertise in support of energy reform and has recently published recommendations for safe construction and operation, the Offshore Code of Practice (OCoP).

The construction of wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas creates technical challenges for builders, operators and insurers alike, as we have had very little experience with this new technology. The OCoP facilitates the early identification and assessment of risks such as the risk that weapons will be found on the ocean floor and that removing them will delay construction and increase costs, or the risk that the anti-corrosive coating of the wind park's components, which need to be able to remain in place for at least 20 years, will be damaged during transport, requiring expensive repairs. 

Identifying risks, deriving protective measures  

Risks are described for each phase of construction and trial operation and these risks are classified in one of four categories: low, medium, high and very high. Significant risks and protective measures are then derived from this assessment. The potential impact of protective measures is assessed using three categories: excellent, adequate and deficient. These guidelines represent a non-binding recommendation, which may be adapted to suit the specific circumstances of each project. They are designed to be used alongside the statutory rules for the construction of offshore wind farms.

For the OCoP, insurers joined with 90 experts from various sectors of the offshore wind industry to analyze more than 500 risks and identify specific protective measures. The OCoP creates transparency with regard to risks and provides a risk management manual for the construction and trial operation of offshore wind farms.

Here you will find a German Download-Version.

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