In July 2006, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Energy Review highlighted that up to a third of the UK’s oil and gas generating capacity will reach the end of its life over the next 20 years.
At the time it was decided that the way to tackle this major problem was by increasing the proportion of electricity generated from renewables to 20%, a substantial increase in production was required.
One agship project helping to address the shortfall was the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator Project (Beatrice) - a €41 million project involving the installation of two demonstrator wind turbines adjacent to the Beatrice oil eld, 25 kilometres off the east coast of Scotland.
The project was run by Talisman Energy, an independent upstream oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Canada in partnership with Scottish & Southern Energy and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Using C.S. Sovereign, Global Marine installed the two main cables, each comprising a power and bre optic cable, to connect the two ve megawatt turbines to Talisman’s Beatrice oil platform. The company needed to pay particular attention to the surrounding environment taking into account the fact the cable laying installation and noise could upset the sea life and bird life in this coastal region.
This cable installation enabled Talisman to power the oil platform, known as Beatrice Alpha, using energy generated from the turbines. It was able to remotely control and monitor certain aspects of the turbines’ performance such as altering blade pitch and sending back turbine performance data for analysis.
Ship: C.S. Sovereign is one of the most advanced offshore engineering ships of its kind in the world. At 130 metres in length, C.S. Sovereign is capable of handling the wide variety of subsea tasks required by such diverse industries as telecommunications, oil & gas, and deep sea research. As part of an on-going equipment investment programme, C.S. Sovereign was upgraded to DP2, tted with a 100 tonne underoll winch, and a 10 tonne handling crane. The cable tanks on C.S. Sovereign can utilise specially designed loading arms for stiff power cables, as well as all types of conventional telecommunications cable.
Submersibles: Atlas is a state of the art, ultra heavy work class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) designed for intervention, trenching, umbilical and power cable maintenance and post lay and inspection roles. With 400Hp of installed power Atlas ROVs have substantial intervention capabilities, and an operating depth range down to 2,000 metres.
The first phase of the Beatrice project involved the installation of one wind turbine, the second installed in summer 2007. Lasting for at least five years the project was used to examine the feasibility and bene ts of creating a commercial deepwater wind farm at this site.
Talisman Energy was aware that one of the technical challenges of one project would be laying the subsea cables that connect the wind turbines to the Beatrice oil platform. In order to tackle this issue, Talisman contracted Global Marine, a leading provider of submarine cable installation and maintenance to deliver a lasting solution.
The Beatrice project an academia and government collaboration has enabled better understanding of the environmental impact of deepwater wind farms, and was pioneering in examining the cost-effectiveness of such sites in terms of using less fossil fuels, and reducing the harmful emissions that they generate.
Offshore wind farms historically are located in relatively shallow water close to the shore, and are visible from land. Extending the area in which commercial wind farms may be located into deeper waters will have significant benefits. This project was a milestone and marks the next stage in offshore renewable energy, and has encouraged the development of other offshore sites on the UK continental shelf at a greater distant from the shore.
"Global Marine has a signi cant track record in providing cable installation to the renewable energy sector which, when coupled with its industry leading expertise and technology, made it a natural partner of choice for this project. We are proud that Beatrice Oilfield project will serve as a benchmark for future offshore development."
Wind Farm Project Director at Talisman Energy