Summer 2019

High voltage wind farm expertise

High voltage engineering specialist EDS HV was bidding for the chance to be one of many sub-contractors working on the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm off the Sulfolk coast

In an impressive turn around of fortunes, it has been awarded the complete operations and maintenance package for the assets at the site.

The 15-year deal is with offshore transmissions owners (OFTO) Equitix Investment Management, which owns Greater Gabbard’s grid assets – made up of two offshore platforms, an onshore substation and the network interface point with the National Grid.

EDS will apply its innovative approach to asset management to help maximise the availability of Greater Gabbard’s high voltage network and ensure the wind farm fulfils its energy output potential.

Jonathan Ball, head of OFTO projects at EDS HV explains:

‘We were able to build on and leverage the crucial importance of achieving high levels of transmission network availability through strategic planning and a long-term commitment to asset condition based monitoring and maintenance.’

‘If the transmission assets fail, for any reason, there is huge potential impact to revenue stream, but by putting high voltage specialists at the heart of a full, turnkey solution, we are able to show how the whole asset can operate at maximum levels of safety and efficiency.’

‘It is quite a notable increase in responsibility,’ he adds, ‘but one which we have fought very hard over the last two years to secure.’

Its new status as O&M contractor means EDS HV will work to build the internal supply chain within the James Fisher group to increase supply chain efficiencies for customers. 

The contract includes maintenance services on both the transmission and auxiliary assets, including fire systems and cranes, as well as crew transfer vessels (from James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS)). But operations, which will be managed from the EDS HV 24/7 control centre, will also include network surveillance, HV safety management and marine coordination using JFMS’s Offshore Wind Management System (OWMS).

‘Supporting critical UK infrastructure like this requires a level of expertise and experience which we have been developing within EDS over a number of years. We are thrilled that our efforts have culminated in this contract which fulfils our evolution to a specialist provider of high voltage engineering services,’ 

Jonathan says.

EDS HV group executive director Ryan Henderson agrees: 

‘This key contract is aligned with the James Fisher’s long-term strategy to become the number one provider of O&M services to the offshore wind industry. We are really looking forward to starting this journey with Equitix at Greater Gabbard as we continue to build on our strong relationship. The EDS team is currently in talks about offering a turnkey O&M solution at other wind farms across the UK.'

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