Offshore wind developers should create detailed agreements for each new project in order to prevent unsafe marine practices and cable failures, concludes a report on cable proximity issues arising from increased deployment of submarine cables by the UK renewables industry.
It is not possible to produce a “simple set of limiting distances” for all scenarios, concludes the report. Instead, offshore wind developers should draw up “bilateral proximity agreements” for all situations when risks may emerge.
Decades of industry experience hammering out cable crossing agreements should make it easier for offshore wind players to agree protocols, notes consultancy Red Penguin Associates. It authored the report on behalf of a consortium that included UK seabed owner, the Crown Estate, as well as developers RES offshore and RWE npower renewables.
Data on turbine spacing and density (MW/km²) for many operational and planned UK offshore wind projects is also included in the report. Gunfleet Sands II has the highest density, at 11.0 MW/km², while Greater Gabbard has the lowest, at 3.4 MW/km².