Bad weather no problem -- Offshore

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A new offshore wind turbine installation and service firm hopes to take advantage of the current state of insecurity around how to install wind turbines in rough conditions. A2SEA A/S of Fredericia, Denmark, says it can transport ten machines to an offshore site a day and install them at under half the going price in a more secure and effective way than current solutions.

The company has recently been formed by a group of investors with backgrounds in offshore work, cranes and wind turbines, says A2SEA's Kurt Thomsen. An architect with 15 years experience in the crane sector, Thomsen says he has designed a new method for installing wind turbines offshore that is not dependent on good weather and calm waters -- a key logistical challenge facing the wind industry now that it is planning installation of plant in waters which can be very rough, such as in the North Sea (Windpower Monthly, May 2000).

"We will be able to complete installation and service jobs in a cheaper and more secure and effective way," he claims, adding the price will lie around £40,000 per turbine. The method is patented in Denmark and until the international patent is approved, the company prefers to remain quiet on the details. Thomsen adds that British and Irish developers have already approached A2SEA and the company hopes to complete its first wind plant installation this year.

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