A market study and database of construction plant for installing offshore wind farms is being developed by UK consultants Garrad Hassan. The database will be updated regularly to provide a reference point for the wind industry. It will identify the location and availability of equipment for installing turbines offshore so that developers can schedule their construction programs effectively. Garrad Hassan points out that the complex sequence of installing offshore foundations, wind turbines and cabling and commissioning demands a wide range of vessels and equipment. With many of the first generation of UK near-shore wind farms planned to be built from 2003-2005, the industry must learn to optimise, and possibly extend the weather window for construction between March and September, says Garrad Hassan. The database will also investigate the requirements for additional custom designed equipment and vessels suited to installing the next generation of plant further offshore.
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