New guide to offshore wind cable burial

The guide clearly defines trench parameters The guide clearly defines trench parameters

The UK’s Offshore Wind Accelerator has published a new report to inform industry on how to apply the Cable Burial Risk Assessment Guidance (CBRA) following its launch earlier this year.

The new Application Guide for the Specification of the Depth of Lowering using CBRA explains how the pioneering probabilistic methodology can be applied to real offshore projects based on actual experience from an operational wind farm. This will help designers use the CBRA Guidance to specify the Depth of Lowering and manage associated residual risks to reduce the installation and insurance costs for subsea cables.

 Following the publication of the CBRA methodology the Carbon Trust, together with DONG Energy and Statkraft with contributions from Cathie Associates, has continued to engage industry to help turn the theory of the methodology into best practice.  The now widely accepted CBRA Guidance offers a standardised, repeatable and qualitative method to improve risk management of subsea cables for offshore wind farms.

 According to industry figures shared by specialist offshore underwriter, GCube over 80 per cent of construction projects have resulted in a cable related incident, with over half of claims being attributed to incorrect installation and load out of cables.

Jan Matthiesen, Offshore Wind Director at the Carbon Trust commented: “CBRA is fast becoming established as the leading standardised methodology for the Depth of Lowering specification. The OWA is delighted to have received a positive response on CBRA from the industry as a whole. We aimed to fill what was a real gap in the industry and we hope that the new Application Guide will help bring a deeper level of understanding on how to manage risks related to cable burial and ensure installations are being planned within appropriate risk parameters.”

Jacob Edmonds DONG Energy Offshore Cable Installation-Project Development Department Manager added: “DONG Energy has participated actively in the development of the CBRA methodology, and we have supported with our experience about installation of offshore cables. We believe that the adoption of the CBRA methodology will lead to the optimisation of the Depth of Lowering specification and to cost savings in many risk scenarios, by avoiding unnecessary steps during installation of cables. Therefore we consider the application of CBRA an essential step towards optimising our future projects in general.”

Input values have been reviewed and checked with the industry, with the aim to reflect technological developments and achieve alignment with best practices. This is key to establishing trust in the methodology and enable it to gain traction as the new industry standard way of defining the Depth of Lowering for subsea cables for offshore wind applications.

The Offshore Wind Accelerator is a joint industry project involving nine developers representing roughly three-quarters of the UK’s licensed capacity – DONG Energy, E.ON, Mainstream Renewable Power, RWE Innogy, Scottish Power Renewables, SSE Renewables, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.

By Jake Frith

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