Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) was awarded the Offshore Renewables Award at the 2019 Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards for service operation vessel (SOV) Wind of Change on 6 February.
Sponsor F3 Offshore Services' managing director David Nielsen presented the award to LDA’s head of newbuildings Hervé Lapierre, who said “I’m very proud to be here and receive this award. I’ve enjoyed the teamwork with everyone [involved], including the designer, the shipyard, and very importantly, the client.”
The vessel was designed by Salt Ship Design and is being built by Cemre in Turkey. It measures 83 m in length and has a beam of 19.4 m. It will be outfitted with a 19-m motion-compensated gangway from Uptime, and a TTS Colibri motion-compensated crane from TTS Group and Ulstein. The power plant comes in the form of L21/31 variable-speed gensets from MAN employing the EPROX energy saving electric propulsion system.
ABB is providing an OnBoard DC grid along with a power and energy management system. The DC grid will integrate two sets of batteries that will be used primarily for spinning reserve and peak shaving so that power peaks during operation can be covered by the battery rather than starting another engine. Battery power can also act as backup for running generators, reducing the need to run spare generator capacity. The level of operating efficiency available in a hybrid power system reduces wear and tear on engines and significantly increases fuel efficiency at lower loads where, in traditional AC power systems, generators run at a fixed maximum speed regardless of the power demand on board. Not only do the batteries have environmental benefits, but they will also result in the crew experiencing reduced vibration when operating in hybrid mode. “We have made every effort to save energy,” Mr Lapierre said.
As many windfarm technicians are shore personnel rather than regular seafarers, ensuring they are comfortable on board the vessel was made a priority, he added.
Common spaces on Wind of Change are designed to be bright and comfortable, so the lounges have full-height windows and the mess room is fitted with windows on either side. “The idea is to get a lot of light inside the [common] spaces,” said Mr Lapierre, adding that LDA wants service personnel to forget they are inside a ship. “We wanted to give them as much comfort as possible aboard the ship – it’s like a 4 or 5-star hotel,” he said.
Delivery is expected by the end of April 2019, Mr Lapierre said. When delivered, Wind of Change will be deployed with Danish energy company Ørsted in the Borkum Riffgrund 1 & 2 and Gode Wind 1 & 2 windfarms off the coast of Germany.
A sister vessel, Wind of Hope, has been ordered and will service Ørsted’s Hornsea Two windfarm offshore the UK.