March 9 - BVG Associates has released a report analysing the effects of increasing the wind speed limit for wind turbine component lifts, based on using High Wind's Boom Lock tool.

The report, entitled Impact of the Boom Lock tool of offshore wind cost of energy, quantifies the impact on levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of reduced vessel use and earlier power generation, based on the use of the Boom Lock system.

Author of the report, Alun Roberts, highlighted the importance of further cost reductions for the offshore wind industry to become sustainable.

"An important area for progress is to reduce the sensitivity of installation to the weather. For turbine installation, the key constraint is wind speed with most projects unable to lift components in wind speeds of more than 11 m/s at hub height. Any increase in this maximum will have significant positive effects on the LCOE."

The Boom Lock tool, which is already installed on the GeoSea-owned jack-up Neptune, allows an offshore crane to install wind turbine components at high wind speeds by stabilising the hook during critical points in the lift.

"Lifting major components in high winds is one of the biggest challenges facing the offshore wind industry," said High Wind general manager Johan Heiler. "The lifting tools used in the offshore wind industry today are incremental evolutions of technologies that have been moved from onshore to offshore.

"If we are to really bring more predictability to lifting processes, there needs to be some different thinking. This report highlights the significant positive impacts such innovations can bring."

Access a copy of the report here.