COE - ROPEWORKS® | Rope Access Instrumental in Launching Offshore Wind Farm
blade technicians, Kevin Thompson and Alex Steel, in
partnership with the Danish company AX-S, were deployed off the coast of Scotland in the summer of 2010 to perform
inspections and repairs at Robin Rigg wind farm. The new 180MW project, employing sixty V90 Vestas turbines, is one
of UK's largest offshore wind farms and powers 120,000 homes.
According to Patrick Murphy, Ropeworks® COE
's veteran blade specialist,
the team's primary objective was to inspect and repair minor blade damages typically caused during initial transport
and installation. Rope access proved especially cost-effective offshore because minimal equipment requirements and
efficient mobilization allowed the team to work in marginal weather windows and eliminate the need for expensive barge cranes.
Prior to mobilization, Kevin and Alex underwent two weeks of project-specific training including an offshore survival
course, which included learning how to escape from a capsized boat, survival swimming, fire control methods and
emergency structure evacuation. Once ready for work, the team quickly found the inclement weather, even for Scottish
standards, to be the limiting factor. "For the first five weeks the weather was so bad the project was invisible from
eight miles onshore," Kevin noted. During brief weather windows, the team worked long days to complete the inspections
and repairs, giving them an opportunity to enjoy both sunrise and sunsets in the spectacular offshore location. Ropeworks®
is looking forward to supporting similar projects planned for North America and beyond.
Techs off the Coast of Scotland Performing Inspections
More Wind Energy Services:
• Wind Energy Services Overview
• Blade Services
• Tower Services