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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Wireless underwater drone, Colonial Pipeline restarted, First commercial US offshore wind farm

It’s Good News Monday!

This Monday we talk about:

  1. Colonial Pipeline Restarting After Cyberattack

  2. UPDATED: Biden administration makes history, approves first commercial offshore windfarm in US

  3. Eneti Orders $330M Wind Turbine Installation Vessel. Eyes U.S. Offshore Wind Market, Too

  4. Irish project to demonstrate innovative foundation solution for offshore wind

  5. Newbuild Vale VLOC Revealed as Bulk Carrier Getting Five Tilting Rotor Sails

  6. VIDEO: Hydromea 'Cuts the Cord' with New Compact Underwater Drone with Live HD Video Feed

“FILE PHOTO: Holding tanks are seen at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm in Woodbridge, New Jersey, U.S. in an undated photograph. Colonial Pipeline/Handout via REUTERS./File Photo”. Image from gCaptain.

Quick update: After being hacked last Friday, the Colonial Pipeline is up and running again. It fell victim to a ransomware attack, but is now flowing and resupplying areas of the East Coast that ran low, or out of gasoline.

Secretary Haaland. Image from Riviera.

The 800 MW Vineyard Wind project has been approved, making it the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States. It’s about 12 miles from both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The project is expected to power 400,000 homes and businesses and create 3,600 jobs. The project will use a larger turbine than originally proposed: GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X, rated at 13 MW. The larger size means only installing 62 turbines instead of the original 108, while keeping project output at 800 MW. The project is expected to generate more than $200M in economic activity.

“File Photo: Scorpio Bulkers”. Image from Offshore Engineer.

Eneti has entered into an agreement with DSME for a new Wind Turbine Installation Vessel to be delivered in Q3, 2024. According to Offshore Engineer, “The vessel is an NG-16000X design by GustoMSC, an NOV subsidiary, and includes a 2,600 Ton Leg Encircling Crane from the Dutch firm Huisman Equipment.” The vessel is slated for U.S. use and will have the ability to operate in water up to 65 meters deep and install turbines up to 20 MW, much bigger than the current largest 14 MW units. They have the option to order another vessel at the same $330M price.

“The Irish project will include the development of a robotic seabed drilling system along with the installation and testing of marine anchors”. Image from Riviera.

“The Irish Government has awarded a €2.9M (US$3.5M) grant in support of a new construction method for offshore foundations and anchors”. The micropile technology could reduce the cost and environmental impact of wind turbine installations. Micropiling is common for onshore systems, but new underwater robotics technologies could create an opportunity for cost effective offshore use. Subsea Micropiles says a robotic drill installs and grouts multiple micropiles, creating a distributed anchoring solution that is very strong. “Dr Fernando Lizzi is commonly recognised as the inventor of micropiles in the form of the tree root pile or ‘palo-radice.’ Inspired by nature, his aim was to mimic the ability of tree root structures to modify the engineering properties of soil with great efficiency.”

“The ship M/V Sea Zhoushan of the Brazilian mining company Vale with five rotor sails installed along the vessel to allow better efficiency is pictured in Zhoushan, China April 29, 2021. Brazilian mining company Vale/Handout via REUTERS.” Image from gCaptain.

The Sea Zhoushan, a newbuild Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) is getting five tiling Rotor Sails from Norsepower. Owner Pan Ocean Ship Management plans to charter the vessel to Vale, a Brazilian mining company. This is the first time tilting rotor sails are being installed on a newbuild vessel and this is easily the largest ship to receive the technology. The 325,000 DWT Sea Zhoushan is expected to gain 8% efficiency, reducing emissions up to 3,400 tons of CO2 per year. The technology has been proven on five other vessels with Norsepower’s technology. If the pilot goes well, 40% or more of Vale’s fleet may be able to use the technology.

“Image: Hydromea”. Image from Offshore Engineer.

Hydromea, a group based in Switzerland, has developed the first wireless underwater drone. It is small enough to fit in a backpack and sends real-time HD video to the viewer. It could be used in “a number of inspection scenarios in confined flooded spaces, such as hydropower dams, closed waterways and ballast tanks on ships, reducing the cost and time-to-results, eliminating safety risks of dangerous inspections performed by humans today.” Radio signals can’t transmit underwater, so the team developed an optical light-based system. Check out the video of the drone moving through underwater structures.

Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)


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