Danish firms Maersk Supply Service (MSS) and Orsted will test a proto-type buoy that will act as both a safe mooring point and a charging station for vessels.
The partners said the technology could displace a substantial amount of marine fuel with green electricity for powering wind farm service vessels and potentially a wide range of ships.
Developed by MSS, the buoy will be tested on one of Orsted’s offshore wind farms in 2021.
It can charge smaller battery- or hybrid-electrical vessels and supply power to larger vessels, enabling them to turn off their engines when laying idle.
By substituting fossil-based fuels with green electricity, virtually all emissions are eliminated while the buoy is in use.
The charging buoy can be used as a mooring point outside ports, in offshore wind farms, and in the vicinity of other offshore installations.
It will further help limit the increasing vessel congestions and remove air pollution in port areas.
Jonas Munch Agerskov, managing director for offshore renewables at MSS, said: “The charging buoy tackles a multitude of problems; lower emissions, offering a safe mooring point for vessels, better power efficiency and eliminating engine noise.
“This is also a solution that can be implemented on a global scale, and one that can be adapted as the maritime industry moves towards hybridisation and electrification.”
Mark Porter, senior vice president and head of operations at Orsted Offshore, said:
“Orsted has set the ambitious target of having carbon neutral operations in 2025, which includes the operations of our offshore wind farms.
“Technical and commercial innovation is central to Orsted’s ability to provide real, tangible solutions to achieve our operational ambitions – and we need our partners’ support.
“We are happy to team up with MSS to test this innovative charging buoy, which brings us a step closer to creating a world that runs entirely on green energy.”