Energy company partnerships to optimise wind turbine installation with Twinn

Wind turnines logistics for offshore wind farm

Project facts

  • Client
    Renewable energy provider
  • Location
    North Sea, Scotland
  • Challenge
    The challenge to determine the best ports for assembling and installing offshore wind turbines.
  • Impact
    An interactive playbook of scenarios to inform planning and save money on turbine transport and installation.
  • Solution
    Using Twinn Predictive Simulation Suite to analyse six Scottish ports, accounting for towage routes, weather patterns and wave activity.
The renewable energy clients that came to Twinn are developing offshore wind farms in Scotland. We’re supporting them with two key projects in their portfolio – Bellrock, which will be 1.2GW east of Aberdeen, and Broadshore, which will be 900MW north of Fraserburgh. 

The challenge

Determining the best ports for installing offshore wind turbines in the North Sea

Both Bellrock and Broadshore are in the early development stages. As part of their planning processes, the partnership between Renewable Energy Providers must decide which ports to use for assembling the turbines and towing them into position.

They were considering six ports around Scotland and wanted to understand how each option would affect transport and installation time, factoring in tow speeds and local wind and wave conditions. 

The solution

Using simulation to analyse routes from different ports, accounting for weather and waves

Because there are so many complex and dynamic variables involved in turbine transport and installation, predictive simulation was the ideal way to understand how different ports and routes would affect timescales. In February 2023, the partnership chose our Twinn Predictive Simulation Suite to conduct the analysis.

To help identify the most efficient turbine transport and installation scenarios, we broke the analysis down into 3 segments:

  • Towage route analysis – looking at potential routes from ports to the installation site
  • Metocean analysis – reviewing 40 years of metocean data to assess downtime risk for the best routes
  • Scenario analysis – assessing the impact of travel speeds and weather events on construction

We built a model using Twinn Witness predictive simulation software, which drew on the towage route and metocean analyses to assess the performance of 50 scenarios. The model accounted for the full lifecycle of activity – from assembly to hook up, tow, installation and vessel return. 

Leon Lammers

Twinn software helped make sense of some tricky parts of installing floating wind turbines at sea.

Leon LammersProject Manager – Port Development & Offshore Wind

The impact

Evidence-based decision-making – leading to savings on turbine transport and installation

For Bellrock, the simulation analysis showed that choosing Aberdeen as the construction and integration port led to the fastest installation time. The second-fastest involved using Aberdeen as the integration port and either Dundee or Firth of Forth as the construction port. 

It was also the fastest to use Aberdeen as the construction and integration port for the Broadshore installations, but it was a marginal advantage compared to using Aberdeen for integration and Dundee for construction. 

Importantly, the simulation also quantified the impact of speeding up installation duration, lowering the maximum wave height limit and increasing the tow speed. These changes had different effects for different port combinations, giving the partnership various options as they look at the most efficient overall way to execute the projects.

Thanks to the playbook, they can now make more informed, evidence-based decisions on port selection – so clients can hit their targets while saving money on transport and installation. 

Praveen Lawrence - Director of Energy simulation solutions

PraveenLawrence

Director of Energy simulation solutions