Xanthus Energy is promoting its Sea Met meterological mast system as a more cost-effective approach than existing technology. It comprises a reusable, self-installing offshore meteorological mast and monitoring platform, alongside a buoyant concrete and steel cellular gravity base.
Wales-based Xanthus has already installed similar structures for offshore oil and gas clients. It is now focusing on the offshore wind market, seeking to help the sector succeed in its cost reduction efforts.
"Every day we see eye watering costs for offshore wind farm build. Our approach is to innovate and use technology to lower the cost of offshore wind products. Simply put, we are re-engineering the economics of offshore wind," Lewis Lack, Xanthus' managing director told Windpower Offshore.
Sea Met comes at a cost of £2m for installation and operation. A lease option is also under consideration. "We are building interest and are in touch with a number of offshore wind farm developers. Some of the smaller developers are among those most open to deploying Sea Met," added Lack.
But larger developers are also in Xanthus' sights. "A large project might deploy three of these masts," said Lack. The UK offshore wind market is the company's primary focus, but it is "open to any market in Europe and beyond".
Suitable for water depths up to 60m, specialised vessels or heavy-lift facilities are not required for Sea Met installation. Instead, it is assembled mostly onshore and towed to site. Moreover, it can be moved using tugs and redeployed elsewhere when necessary.
"It's an easily installed and, therefore, easily moved structure," explained Lack. As such, it has the potential to replace multiple fixed masts.