July 9 - In conjunction with Vattenfall, Maersk Broker, DTU-Wind and The Welding Institute (TWI), Denmark headquartered consultancy company NIRAS is developing a process tool - ODIN-WIND - to optimise the decommissioning of offshore wind turbines.

The first generation of offshore wind farms will be retired in a few years and the wind turbines will be technologically outdated, said NIRAS.

Therefore, a new market for the decommissioning of wind turbines is seeing rapid growth. Two international advisory firms Douglas-Westwood and Deloitte have estimated the value of this market at GBP47.5 billion (USD81.2 billion) in the North Sea alone.

This has prompted NIRAS and its partners to cash in on this multibillion dollar market, with the commencement of the ODIN-WIND project. The target group for the tool includes owners, authorities, contractors, NGOs and consultants, said NIRAS.

"With this tool we are able to ensure that wind turbines will be scrapped in a way that is most environmentally friendly and safe," said project manager Johan Finsteen Gjødvad.

"We can establish the remaining service life of parts of the wind turbine elements, as well as the amount of money that will need to be allocated for both the maintenance and decommissioning of the offshore wind turbines."

NIRAS' long-term plan is to develop the tool to include the decommissioning of offshore installations and ships.

The process tool is expected to be ready by the end of 2015 and will be tested with data from Horns Rev 1 in a demonstration project at the beginning of 2016.