Presentations - WindEurope Annual Event 2024

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Cable failure preparedness- offshore wind and interconnectors

Marta Sierra Castanon, BoP Technical Manager, PEAK Wind


The number of interconnector cables between countries and the Offshore wind market is growing very fast. The length of submarine cables is expected to almost double between 2023 and 2030. Cable failures account for 75-80% of the total cost of offshore windfarms insurance claims, however the loss of revenue impacts owners the most. Despite cable failures significantly impacting OPEX, cable repairs are still in the infancy stage in comparison with the Wind Turbine component exchange. Developers, Transmission System Owners, and Operators are seeing long Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) to repair their cables. According to current statistics from the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE), the average time to do an unplanned submarine cable repair is 107 days and costs more than 12 million Euros excluding the loss of revenue. Considering that cable failures on array cables can affect full strings of 5-10 turbines and export cables failures affect half or full windfarm; the loss of production compared to the Wind Turbines' repairs is significantly higher. Between 2007 and 2018, 43 array and export cable failures were reported and with the current build-out speed, higher voltage levels, and new technologies such as floating wind, there is a need for Developers and Operators to have a holistic cable management strategy. This presentation will give owners an overview of the considerations they should include in early development before the bid preparations to minimize the loss of production and the cost of repairs. It will present recommendations that need to be further customized for each wind farm or interconnector cable to achieve the optimal level of cable repair preparedness. Potential differences depending on the risk appetite as well as the topics that can be worked on in the different phases of the project will also be highlighted as part of the strategy.

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