A Kincardine wind turbine, which sits just 10 miles off Aberdeen, is being towed hundreds of miles to Rotterdam for scheduled maintenance because the UK doesn’t have facilities to service it.
The KIN-02 turbine is part of the Kincardine floating wind farm, until recently the largest project of its kind globally.
It comes after a repair was needed last year on one of the turbines, which was also taken to Rotterdam.
Earlier this month Tim Pick, the UK’s offshore wind champion, described the situation as a “national disgrace”.
Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Limited (KOWL), which operates the development, had no comment.
Aberdeen firms to repair in future
However, speaking before this latest development, KOWL director Allan MacAskill told Energy Voice earlier this month that work is underway to ensure Aberdeen firms are deployed to fix repairs in situ offshore.
This would apply to major component changeouts like blades and the turbine shaft.
He said: “The idea of towing a machine all the way to and from Rotterdam, or even from Rotterdam, because we assembled it in Rotterdam, it’s not sensible for the future. It takes too long. It costs too much and so we have to deal with that,” he says.
“We don’t want to bring the machines into port once we’ve put them out. We want everything to happen offshore.
“We’re working with a number of people to make sure, that when we have a broken turbine we actually fix that and change that out offshore and that’s something we’re working closely with a number of Aberdeen based companies and others to try and solve over the next few months.
“So if this happened to us again, we wouldn’t be going back to Rotterdam. We would fix it in situ.”
The Kincardine project, built in Spain and the Netherlands, started up as a 50 megawatt development in 2021.
Flotation is in a joint venture with the project’s ultimate owner – Spain’s Grupo Cobra – on several upcoming projects, including Cenos and Green Volt in the UK North Sea.