Thursday, July 16, 2015

New ISO Standard for Ports and Marine Operations Involved in Wind Farm Energy Production

Certification Covers Component Design and Correct Operational Procedures
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – According to the Global Wind Energy Council offshore wind farms have the potential to meet Europe’s energy requirements seven times over (and those of the US four times over). Now the international standards organisation ISO has produced a new International Standard for the port and marine operations associated with offshore windfarms which it says will help development whilst improving the safety and accessibility of the chosen sites, in an industry where offshore construction and maintenance has always been challenging and dangerous.

More than 91% of the world's offshore wind power is currently installed off northern Europe, in the North, Baltic and Irish Seas, and the English Channel. Most of the rest is in two ‘demonstration’ projects off China's east coast. Offshore wind is an essential component of Europe's binding target to source 20% of final energy consumption from renewables, and China has set itself a target of 30 GW of installations off its coast by 2020. The United States has excellent wind resources offshore, and many projects are under development.

ISO 29400:2015, Ships and marine technology – Offshore wind energy – Port and marine operations, provides comprehensive requirements and guidance for the planning and engineering of port and marine operations, encompassing all related documents and works necessary for the installation and maintenance of offshore windfarms. This includes the design and analysis of the components, systems, equipment and procedures required to perform port and marine operations, as well as the methods or procedures developed to carry them out safely.

The new standard is the lead of a series of six standards, developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology, whose secretariat is held by SAC, ISO’s member in China. It is aimed at achieving a high level of reliability in the planning and execution of components and systems involved in the support and operations of offshore wind energy. These include supply chain information flow, personnel transfer systems and work and living conditions offshore. Captain Charles H. Piersall, Chairman of ISO/TC 8 and a retired US naval officer with nearly 60 years of distinguished maritime career, said:

“The objective of these standards is to ensure port and marine operations are carried out within defined safety and reliability levels, no matter where they are in the world, providing confidence but not hindering innovation.”

ISO 29400:2015 can be purchased from your local ISO member or through the ISO Store.

Photo: Not everybody wholeheartedly supports wind farms. The RSPB points out the threat to birds such as these Eurasian cranes flying close to the blades of a turbine.